Senior officials from the Commonwealth gathered in London yesterday for an extraordinary 'Senior Officials of Law Ministries' meeting.

The group, including representatives from Ministry of Justice equivalents in countries including Canada and Trinidad and Tobago, examined a range of issues. As well as looking at matters of mutual interest like ways of making citizens more aware of their rights and responsibilities, the meeting was also be used to try promote UK objectives on human rights and Rule of Law more generally through discussions with individual nations attending the meeting.

Justice Minister Lord McNally said:

'The impact of the Commonwealth in improving the quality of life of citizens is greatly enhanced by the involvement of charities, community groups and non-Governmental organisations. These groups help to represent individuals' views in Government, they make people aware of their rights, scrutinise government activity and help to inform decisions.

'The Government here in the UK is committed to creating a society where neighbourhoods and community groups are part of the answer to the big social and political problems we face. This meeting is an important step towards promoting that idea further across the Commonwealth.'  

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