News Release: Hamilton, Bermuda – Speaker of the House of Assembly, Dennis Lister, announced the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) has been invited to Bermuda to provide a seminar for Bermuda’s Members of Parliament and Senators. The seminar takes place on May 1 and 2 and will focus on broadening the understanding of the principles of parliamentary democracy. The CPA members traveling from the UK include the CPA Secretary-General, Mr. Akbar Khan.

The Speaker noted, “This seminar and training programme will provide opportunities for Members of Parliament and Senators to learn more and deepen their understanding of parliamentary processes. When I took on the role of Speaker, one of my objectives was to ensure on-going training was established for Bermuda’s parliamentarians. This training is one of several that has taken place over the last two years.

“Last year the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) participated in UK workshops, followed by a visit by a UK Parliament Clerk who provided additional training for the committee. Two Members of Parliament recently completed an eight-month parliamentary training course designed to increase their knowledge and parliamentary performance.

“This week’s seminar will include sessions such as: Separation of Powers: The relationship between the Legislature and the Executive, and the Legislature and the Judiciary; Parliament, Democracy and Civil Society; and Practice and Procedure in the House.

“It is the responsibility of the Speaker to improve parliament and put in place opportunities for MPs and Senators to learn and understand the democratic process and parliamentary practice.”

The Speaker concluded, “I look forward to welcoming Mr. Akbar Khan, and our international guests to Bermuda as we host the Parliamentary Strengthening Seminar.”

The seminar will be opened by Mr Lister, Attorney-General and Minister of Legal Affairs, the Hon. Kathy Lynn Simmons, JP, and the CPA Secretary-General, Mr. Akbar Khan.

International attendees include: the Hon. Angelo Farrugia, Speaker of the Malta House of Representatives is Chairperson of the CPA Small Branches; the Hon. Shirley Osborne, Speaker of the Montserrat Legislative Assembly is Chairperson of the Regional CWP and a Vice Chairperson of the CPA; Mrs. Jacqui Sampson-Meiguel, Clerk of the House, Parliament of Trinidad and Tobago (TBC); and Mr. Paul Belisle, former Clerk, Senate of Canada.