Declaration on preserving and strengthening the independence of the judiciary and on ensuring the independence of the legal profession

This declaration reemphasises the importance to the rule of law of a functioning independent Judiciary, properly funded and comprised of appropriately appointed judges. In addition, an independent legal profession is critical to democracy, enabling government and public entities to be held to account.

This meeting of Commonwealth Bar Leaders was an inaugural event for the CLA. After sharing experiences, including the experience of lawyers being pressurised and intimidated for representing unpopular clients and judges being controlled by meagre salaries and time limited appointments, the assembled Bar Leaders resolved unanimously to approve and adopt the “CLC 2023 Goa Declaration on preserving and strengthening the independence of the Judiciary and on securing the independence of the legal profession”.

Conference Chair and CLA immediate Past President, Brian Speers said “this is an important Declaration agreed between the leaders of the legal profession in over 40 countries who are members of the Commonwealth. It re affirms the importance to democracy and the protection of the rights of an individual, of independent legal representation and of being heard before an independent court”.

5th March 2023

This article was first published by the Commonwealth Lawyers Association. The Commonwealth Lawyers Association is an international non-profit organisation which exists to promote and maintain the rule of law throughout the Commonwealth by ensuring that an independent and efficient legal profession, with the highest standards of ethics and integrity, serves the people of the Commonwealth.  View the article on

Guest author The Platform Magazine