Richard Clayton KC to speak at Commonwealth Law Association Conference Goa India 5 March 2023

The Colonial Hangover - the lasting impact of colonialism on the Common Law and beyond

Richard will speak in the Privy Council session in Goa on 5 March 2023 which says:

The Common Law has been the only global rival to civilian systems based on Roman law. It was carried by the Colonial powers and defines legal systems throughout the Commonwealth and derives mostly from the courts of what, for most jurisdictions in the Commonwealth, were former colonies. The final arbiter of what was right and wrong was the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in London. The major incentive for the formation of the Judicial Committee was to oversee the community of Common Law based legal systems throughout the Commonwealth. 

However, the overseas jurisdiction of the Judicial Committee has declined since the 1940s as former dominions and colonies have established their own apex courts. The remnants of this jurisdiction of the Judicial Committee are under scrutiny. Has the Judicial Committee passed its time? Should the mature Commonwealth be creating something on a similar base to the ECJ in Europe, or, should there be a free for all, without any form of central control and abandon all colonial hangovers

Richard will question this description. In his experience the Privy Council does not promote the idea of the common law being either “English law” or “imperial law.” The Privy Council takes the view that common law principles are not the same from one jurisdiction to another.

Salieu Taal, the current President of the Gambia Bar Association will chair the session.  The other speakers are Ruggles Ferguson, a former President of the Grenada Bar Association and the current President of the Organization of Commonwealth Caribbean Bar Associations and Joanna Sarkar, a Human Rights Lawyer from West Bengal.