CLEA - Commonwealth Attorneys and Solicitors General Conference (CASGC) 2024

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What’s in today’s article?

  • Why in news?
  • What is the Commonwealth?
  • What is Commonwealth Legal Education Association (CLEA)?
  • News Summary: CLEA - Commonwealth Attorneys and Solicitors General Conference (CASGC) 2024
  • Key highlights of the speech delivered by PM Modi

Why in news?

  • PM Modi inaugurated the Commonwealth Legal Education Association (CLEA) - Commonwealth Attorneys and Solicitors General Conference (CASGC) 2024 at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi.
  • The theme of the conference is “Cross-Border Challenges in Justice Delivery”. 
  • This conference deliberated on important issues pertaining to law and justice like:
    • judicial transition and the ethical dimensions of legal practice; 
    • executive accountability; and 
    • revisiting modern-day legal education, among others.

What is the Commonwealth?

  • Background
    • At the 1926 Imperial Conference Britain and the Dominions agreed that they were all equal members of a community within the British Empire. 
    • They all owed allegiance to the British king or queen, but the United Kingdom did not rule over them. 
    • This community was called the British Commonwealth of Nations or just the Commonwealth.
  • About
    • The Commonwealth is a voluntary association of 56 independent and equal countries.
      • The last two countries to join the Commonwealth were Gabon and Togo in 2022.
  • It was established by the London Declaration in 1949.
  • The Commonwealth's roots go back to the British Empire. But today any country can join the modern Commonwealth
  • The member governments have agreed to shared goals like development, democracy and peace.
  • Birth of the modern Commonwealth
    • After its independence in 1947, India wanted to become a republic which didn't owe allegiance to the British king or queen.
    • However, it also wanted to stay a member of the Commonwealth.
    • The London Declaration of 1949 said that republics and other countries could be part of the Commonwealth. 
    • Thus, the modern Commonwealth of Nations was born.
  • Republics and Realms
    • The Commonwealth consists of both Republics and Realms.
    • The British monarch is the Head of State for the realms, whereas the republics are ruled by elected governments.

What is Commonwealth Legal Education Association (CLEA)?

  • About
    • The CLEA fosters and promotes high standards of legal education in the Commonwealth. 
    • Founded in 1971, it is a Commonwealth-wide body with regional Chapters and Committees in Asia, Southern Africa, West Africa, the Caribbean and Europe.
  • Goal
    • The goal of the Association is to make legal education socially relevant and professionally useful, particularly through:
      • the development of law curricula and teaching methodologies;
      • assisting law schools to prepare themselves for the demands of the profession in the context of the information revolution and other global challenges; and
      • supporting continuing legal education and distance learning programmes.

News Summary: CLEA - Commonwealth Attorneys and Solicitors General Conference (CASGC) 2024

  • PM Modi inaugurated the CLEA – Commonwealth Attorneys and Solicitors General Conference (CASGC) 2024 at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi.
  • This Conference witnessed the participation of Attorney Generals and Solicitors from the Commonwealth nations spanning the Asia-Pacific, Africa, and the Caribbean along with various international delegations. 
  • The conference serves as a unique platform by offering a forum for interaction among different stakeholders in the Commonwealth legal fraternity.

Key highlights of the speech delivered by PM Modi

  • Emphasized the importance of justice in Indian thoughts
    • PM mentioned an ancient Indian saying: ‘न्यायमूलं स्वराज्यं स्यात्’, meaning justice is at the root of independent self-governance, and without justice, even the existence of a nation is not possible.
  • Need for multiple nations to come together to ensure justice delivery
    • Referring to the cooperation and interdependence of systems like that of air and maritime traffic control, the Prime Minister said we need to expand cooperation to investigation and justice delivery. 
    • He underlined that cooperation can take place while respecting each other’s jurisdiction as when we work together, jurisdiction becomes a tool to deliver justice without delaying it.
  • Need to rethink, reimagine and reform including modernizing legal systems
    • PM Modi pointed out the vast networks created by criminals across countries and their usage of the latest technology both in funding and operations. 
    • He also drew attention to the fact that economic crimes in one region are being used to fund activities in other regions, and the challenges of the rise of cryptocurrency and cyber threats.
    • In this context, he underscored the need to rethink, reimagine and reform including modernizing legal systems, making the system more flexible and adaptable.
  • Technology can also have a positive impact on justice systems
    • He said that in the last few years, India has used drones to map places and provide clear property cards to rural people, reducing disputes, the possibility of litigation, and load on the justice system, making it more efficient. 
    • He said digitalisation has also helped many courts in the country, taking proceedings online, which has helped people access justice even from far-away locations.
  • Indian legal system witnessed a record number of reforms
    • PM Modi pointed out that India’s legal system was inherited from colonial times, but the last few years have witnessed a record number of reforms. 
    • He mentioned the abolition of thousands of obsolete laws from colonial times, and underlined that it has boosted ease of living and ease of doing business.
    • He further highlighted that the 3 new legislations have replaced more than 100-year-old colonial criminal laws. 
    • Earlier, the focus was on punishment and penal aspects. Now, the focus is on ensuring justice.

Q1) What is Republic?

A republic is a form of government where the people elect representatives to rule the state. The word republic comes from the Latin phrase res publica, which means "public affair".

Q2) What is cryptocurrency?

A cryptocurrency is a digital currency, which is an alternative form of payment created using encryption algorithms.

Source: Nations need to collaborate to ensure faster justice delivery: PM Modi | Commonwealth Legal Education Association | | PMIndia