Secretary-General of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA), 2016-2019  

The 7th Secretary-General of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) was Mr Akbar Khan. He was appointed by the 61st General Assembly of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) in October 2015 and he took up his post in January 2016. Mr Khan was recommended to the 61st General Assembly by the Association’s International Executive Committee, which is made up of representatives of the nine regions of the CPA – Africa; Asia; Australia; British Islands and Mediterranean; Canada; Caribbean, Americas and Atlantic; India; Pacific; South-East Asia. 

Mr Akbar Khan was born in Guyana, South America before moving to the United Kingdom. He is an honours graduate in both International Law from the University of Cambridge (Jesus College) and in English Law from the University of Reading (UK). Following graduation, he qualified at the English Bar as a Barrister-at-Law (1990) and subsequently as an Attorney-at-Law at the New York Bar in 2000 (USA). He is also a qualified Workplace Investigator for Misconduct.

He practised at the English Bar and has worked in the fields of international law and human rights for the United Nations Organisation in Geneva and the Palestinian Territories (Gaza). He joined Her Majesty’s Diplomatic Service at the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office in 2003 as a legal adviser and has held several diplomatic positions. These include Head of the International Law Section at the British Embassy, The Hague representing British legal interests before the International Courts and United Nations Tribunals. This was followed by a period of special leave in which he served as the Director of Legal Affairs and Principal Legal Counsel to the Commonwealth Secretary-General at the Commonwealth Secretariat. In 2012, as Head of the Commonwealth Delegation he led the high-level fact finding mission to the Republic of the Maldives to establish the circumstances behind the transfer of executive power.

Between 2013/15 he headed the UK Delegation to the International Meetings of the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (CGPCS), and Chaired the CGPCS Working Group on Capacity Building off the Horn of Africa. In recognition of his contribution to promoting the international rule of law and good governance he was appointed a Member of the prestigious World Economic Forum Global Council on the Rule of Law (2012 -2013). He was also featured as one of the ‘Leaders’ on the Rule of Law by The Hague Institute on the Internationalisation of Law (HiiL).

Mr Akbar Khan became the 7th Secretary-General of the CPA in January 2016 and served for four years until 2019. 

He has held various positions including an Independent Member of the Audit Committee for the London Borough of Richmond Upon Thames; a Legally Qualified Chair (LQC) of the Police Misconduct Panels; and a Board Level Diversity Champion for ParliREACH, a UK Parliamentary staff association that promotes race, ethnicity and cultural heritage.


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Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA)
CPA Headquarters Secretariat, c/o Richmond House, Houses of Parliament, London SW1A 0AA, United Kingdom.
T: +44 (0)20 7799 1460. 

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