Current membership

In terms of its draft Memorandum of Understanding, the Group consists of such number of members as the Group determines from time to time but not exceeding fifteen. The Group, by consensus, determines to admit new members, bearing in mind the importance of ensuring, so far as is practicable, either an equitable geographical distribution or the representation of the major legal systems of the world. Members join the Group on the understanding that they will resign should they become personally involved in a controversy that has the potential adversely to affect the work of the Group.

The Group as at present constituted comprises:

›› H.E. Judge Christopher Weeramantry,
former Vice-President of the International Court of Justice (chairperson),

›› The Hon. Michael Kirby,
former Justice of the High Court of Australia (rapporteur),

›› The Hon. M.L. Uwais,
former Chief Justice of Nigeria

›› The Hon. Pius Langa,
Chief Justice of South Africa

›› The Hon. B.J. Odoki,
Chief Justice of Uganda

›› The Hon. P.N. Bhagwati,
former Chief Justice of India

›› The Hon. B.A. Samatta,
former Chief Justice of Tanzania

›› The Hon. Dr. Adel Omar Sherif,
Deputy Chief Justice of Egypt

›› The Rt. Hon. The Lord Mance,
Justice of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom

›› The Hon. Justice Christine Chanet,
Justice of the Court of Cassation of France.

›› The Hon. Prof. Dr. Rudolf Mellinghoff,
President of the Federal Supreme Court of Finance of Germany

In addition to its present members, the following have also served as members: Chief Justice F. L. Nyalali (Tanzania), Chief Justice Mustapha Kamal (Bangladesh), Chief Justice Sarath N Silva (Sri Lanka), Chief Justice Y. Bhaskar Rao (Karnataka State, India), Chief Justice Latifur Rahman (Bangladesh), Chief Justice Mainur Reza Chaudhury (Bangladesh), Chief Justice P. V. Reddi (Karnataka State, India), Chief Justice K. N. Upadhyay (Nepal), Chief Justice N.K. Jain (Karnataka State, India), Chief Justice K. M. Hassan (Bangladesh), and Chief Justice Hilario G. Davide Jr (The Philippines).

The UN Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers, Dato Param Cumaraswamy, has been in attendance as an Observer.

The management and day-to-day operations of the Group, including the implementation of the decisions of the Group, the organization of its meetings, and the preparation or commissioning of research papers when necessary, is the responsibility of the Coordinator, Dr Nihal Jayawickrama. He previously served as Attorney-General and Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Justice of Sri Lanka, Ariel F. Sallows Professor of Human Rights at the University of Saskatchewan, Canada, Associate Professor of Law at the University of Hong Kong, and Executive Director of Transparency International, Berlin. He is also the author of The Judicial Application of Human Rights Law: National, Regional and International Jurisprudence (Cambridge University Press, 1094 pp, 2002). He was assisted for several years by Mr Jeremy Pope, former Director of the Legal and Constitutional Affairs Division of the Commonwealth Secretariat, London, and Managing Director of Transparency International, Berlin.