Speech of Hon. Attorney General and Minister of Justice in opening Law Week 2008

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OPENING SPEECH OF HON. ATTORNEY GENERAL AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE - LAW WEEK 2008, MONDAY 17

NOVEMBER 2008

"THE THEME FOR LAW WEEK 2008 IS "THE RULE OF LAW", WE BELIEVE THE ESSENCE OF ALL ENDEAVOURS IN THE LEGAL SECTOR.

TO MAINTAIN THE RULE OF LAW MEANS TO OBEY, RESPECT AND ENSURE IT IS PRESERVED IN ALL LEVELS OF THE SOCIETY.

THE RULE OF LAW IS A UNIVERSAL PRINCIPLE THAT COUNTRIES AROUND THE WORLD HAVE ADOPTED AND CONTINUE TO ADHERE TO BECAUSE IT IS FUNDAMENTAL TO ANY LAW ABIDING COHESIVE SOCIETY.

I ATTENDED THE COMMONWEALTH LAW MINISTERS MEETINGS IN JULY 2008 IN EDINBURG, SCOTLAND, WHICH WAS ATTENDED BY ATTORNEY GENERALS AND MINISTERS OF JUSTICE FROM THROUGHOUT THE COMMONWEALTH.

THE THEME OF THAT MEETING WAS "THE RULE OF LAW" AND MEMBERS AGREED THAT A GOOD GOVERNMENT IS ONE WHERE THE RULE OF LAW IS APPLIES EQUALLY TO THE THREE ARMS OF GOVERNMENT, THE EXECUTIVE, THE LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY AND THE JUDICIARY. THE GOAL IS A GOVERNMENT THAT IS ACCOUNTABLE AND ETHICAL.

THE MEMBER COUNTRIES AGREED THAT APPLICATION OF THE RULE OF LAW IS NOT RESTRICTED TO THE ARMS OF GOVERNMENT, BUT IT IS IMPORTANT THAT THIS PRINCIPLE APPLIES TO ITS PEOPLE.

THE PROGRAMS ORGANISED FOR LAW WEEK 2008 ARE DESIGNED TO HELP PROMOTE THE RULE OF LAW AND MAKE THE LAW A FRIEND OF ALL TONGANS. IT IS AN ATTEMPT TO MAKE LAW ACCESSIBLE TO ALL OUR PEOPLE.

LAW WEEK IS ANOTHER SMALL STEP BUT A SIGNIFICANT ONE IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE LEGAL SECTOR IN THIS COUNTRY.

CONCLUSION:

LORD BINGHAM OF CORNHILL KG OF THE ENGLISH HOUSE OF LORDS SAID THIS OF THE RULE OF LAW, THAT

  1. EVERY CITIZEN OF A COUNTRY AND EVERY OFFICIAL, WHETHER HE IS IN GOVERNMENT OR THE PRIVATE SECTOR SHOULD OBEY THE RULE OF LAW.
  2. EVERY PERSON SHOULD HAVE EQUAL RIGHTS UNDER THE LAW.
  3. EVERY LAW MADE SHOULD BE MADE KNOWN TO EVERYONE.

THE MAINTENANCE OF THE "RULE OF LAW" IN A SOCIETY IS SUPPORTED BY:

1. AN INDEPENDENT JUDICIARY.

2. EQUAL ACCESS BY ALL TO THE RULE OF LAW

3. AVAILABILITY OF LAW ENFORCEMENT BODIES AND MEANS TO COMBAT UNLAWFUL ACTION.

I HAVE THE GREAT PLEASURE IN DECLARING THE LAW WEEK 2008 OPEN."

END

 

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