Rule of law central to Commonwealth''s values: Kamalesh Sharma

Written by: Pti
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Hyderabad, Feb 6 (PTI) The ''rule of law'' is central tothe Commonwealth''s values and the international body has takendifficult and painful measures to defend it, CommonwealthSecretary-General Kamalesh Sharma said today.

Delivering the keynote address on ''Emerging Economies andthe Rule of Law: Challenges and Opportunities'' at the 17thCommonwealth Law Conference that began here today, Sharma saidrespect for and implementation of the ''rule of law'' has longbeen enshrined as a core value of the Commonwealth.

Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group � ''CMAG'' � therotating group of nine Foreign Ministers which is the guardianof these values, had suspended Pakistan from the Councils ofthe Commonwealth in 2007, in part, because of a clear floutingof the Latimer House Principles, when the judiciary wasdismissed, he said.

"We were delighted that Pakistan returned to our Councilthe following year, after democratic elections and thereinstatement of the judiciary," Sharma said adding the fullsuspension of Fiji from the Commonwealth in 2009 as a resultof a military coup was also in part a legal matter as the CMAGcited, "... the undermining of the independence of thejudiciary and the legal system."

"So, we will (continue to) take difficult and painfulmeasures to defend the rule of law," Sharma pointed out.


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