Former High Court Judge Michael Kirby has been appointed to the newly formed Commonwealth Eminent Persons Group (EPG).
This is the second time in recent weeks that Kirby, the only Australian appointee on the 10-member panel, has received international recognition for his contribution to the law and human rights. Last month he was named as the co-winner of the Gruber Justice Prize at a ceremony in New York.
A letter from the Commonwealth Secretary-General, Kamalesh Sharma, outlines that the EPG will consider options for reform and modernisation, so that the Commonwealth's full range of resources, networks and partnerships can be strengthened and made more effective in support of Commonwealth values, principles and goals.
It is expected to produce a report in time for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Perth in 2011.
The EPG will hold its first meeting in London from 19-20 July.
The chairperson of the Group is Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, a former Prime Minister of Malaysia. Other members include Dr Asma Jilani Jahangir, the chair of Pakistan's Human Rights Commission and Sir Ieremia Tabai, a sitting member for the island of Nonouti in the Republic of Kiribati Parliament.