Commonwealth Latimer House Principles

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.They were debated and adopted by Heads of Government in Abuja in
2003, and - in being so - they greatly strengthened the existing body of beliefs and goals of this organisation, as set down in Singapore in 1971, Harare in 1991, and Millbrook in 1995.
The ‘Separation of Powers’ may look well on paper and sound well in speeches.As a concept, it is as old as Montesquieu, who is believed to be the first to have articulated it, in his great work De L'Esprit des Loix (On the Spirit of the Laws), published
in 1748.
On numberless occasions – on podiums such as these – we have spoken about the primacy of ‘the accountability of, and the relationship between, the three branches of government’, and stressed the independence of those bodies: the Executive, the
Legislature, and the Judiciary.And what is the origin of these cherished Principles, as adopted by our leaders? Who initiated them? You did: Commonwealth partner organisations, Commonwealth Law Ministers, senior officials, and the
Commonwealth legal community. Because the rule of law sits alongside democracy and human rights as the key beliefs of this organisation – just as another threesome - governments, business and civil society - are its main actors.



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