PAC – COMMONWEALTH: PACNEWS PACNEWS SPECIAL: Wed 09 July 2008
Latimer House Principles reviewed
09 JULY 2008 EDINBURGH (Pacnews) --- Separation of power between the three arms of government – the executive, parliament and the judiciary, may look well on paper but are they observed? This is one of the challenges raised by the Secretary General of the Commonwealth Secretary, Kamalesh Sharma, in one of his first convened ministerial meetings, since taking up the post in April this year.
“Every Commonwealth member must continuously pose itself the question: how well does it observe the separation of powers?
“Do our Executives respect the freedom of the Legislature and the Judiciary to discharge their responsibilities? “Theirs, of course is the greatest temptation to jettison these Principles – and there was a time, perhaps a generation ago, when many Legislatures and Judiciaries wilfully complied with over-reaching Executives. In other words, they didn’t properly believe in their own independence and power, as a key element of the sharing of power.
The Commonwealth is an organisation of values, and the values – or Principles – of Latimer House are irreversibly embedded in the canon and the creed of this organisation.
Latimer House Principles adopted in 1998 outlines the values of accountability of relationship between the three branches of government – the executives, parliament and the judiciary.
“For all of us, from time immemorial, power has been difficult to separate, and thereby to control. “All are complicit, and in being so make ourselves dangerously vulnerable to poor governance, corruption and instability. “
You have convened because you all know that there is a continuing gulf between the rhetoric and the reality. Civil societies have also been engaged in the review of the Latimer House Principles. “As a body, the Commonwealth moves on a broad front. This is our strength. “These Latimer House Principles are designed to help the business of fair, efficient, transparent, responsive government - government for the people.
“The confidence, belief and trust that people have in their government is the ultimate litmus test, Mr Sharma said. Fiji lawyer, Graham Everett Leung is part of the group expert lawyers from around the Commonwealth that are reviewing the Latimer House Principles…PNS (ENDS)