Commonwealth Legal Education Association Archive

UK address at time of writing c/o John Hatchard, General Secretary, British Institute of International and Comparative Law, Charles Clore House, 17 Russell Square, London WC1B 5DR.

History of the Association

The Commonwealth Legal Education Association (CLEA) was founded during the Fourth Commonwealth Law Conference in New Delhi in 1971. The idea was initiated by Indian lawyer Dr Laxmi Singhvi, CLEA's first chairman. The Association's objects were to foster high standards of legal education and research in Commonwealth countries; to build up contacts between interested individuals and organizations, and to disseminate information and literature concerning legal education and research.

CLEA established its headquarters in the offices of the Legal Division of the Commonwealth Secretariat in Marlborough House, London, and with the Legal Director as its Honorary Secretary and Treasurer. In 1973 it obtained a grant from the Commonwealth Foundation; this funding, plus subscriptions from members, enabled the CLEA to embark on the projects planned on its establishment. It has received further long term grants from the Commonwealth Foundation to continue its activities.

CLEA's structure, objectives and functions are set out in its Constitution, adopted soon after its foundation. Membership is open to individuals, schools of law and other institutions concerned with legal education and research. Patrons are appointed from various Commonwealth countries. The affairs of the Association are managed by an Executive Committee, drawn from the Commonwealth regions, which meets annually; its actions are reviewed at 5 yearly General Meetings, the first of which was held in Edinburgh during the Fifth Commonwealth Law Conference in 1977. There is an Advisory Panel in the United Kingdom. The administration of the Association was carried out by a chairman and two secretaries, one in London and one abroad. In 1990 the office of chairman was replaced by a president and executive chairperson (since renamed vice president). The President may be elected from any part of the Commonwealth; the Vice President must be established in the UK. In 1994 a South Asian regional chapter was formed.

The information for this entry was taken from Commonwealth Legal Education, the newsletter of the CLEA

Records of the Association

The records listed below comprise:-

a) files collected in the UK from the Secretary of the Association:
b) collections of papers dating from their time as an officer of CLEA received from Professors William Twining and James Read;
c) some printed papers, including copies of CLEA directories, from Dr S B Marsh.

Financial records and current files are with the current CLEA officers. There are no separately maintained minute books for CLEA; minutes, agenda and papers relating to Executive Committee and Advisory Council meetings and meetings of special committees etc will be found in the secretary's files.

Page last updated: 20th July 2020

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