The Constitutional Structure of the Commonwealth

The Constitutional Structure of the Commonwealth

The Constitutional Structure of the Commonwealth

The Constitutional Structure of the Commonwealth

Excerpt

The text of this book describes the constitutional structure of the Commonwealth, so far as I can understand it, at 31 March 1960. Although there have been changes since that date, and although other changes are already foreseen or foreseeable, nothing has occurred which, in my opinion, conflicts with the exposition I have given in this book of the fundamental principles of that structure. None the less it is necessary to set down briefly the principal changes that have occurred or are expected to occur in the near future, as the position appears at this moment of writing.

To the list of Members of the Commonwealth given in the first footnote on page 1, Nigeria should be added on 1 October 1960. The Nigeria Independence Act was passed in July 1960, and appears as Appendix VII to this book. The meeting of Commonwealth Prime Ministers in May 1960 agreed in advance to accept Nigeria as a Member of the Commonwealth when it became independent.

It was announced on 4 May 1960, at the conclusion of a constitutional conference, that Sierra Leone would become independent on 27 April 1961. If Sierra Leone expresses a wish to remain in the Commonwealth, the question of its becoming a Member will be considered and decided by the Members.

Cyprus is to become an independent, sovereign republic on 15 August 1960, by the terms of the Cyprus Act which was passed by the parliament of the United Kingdom in July 1960. Thereafter it is for the Republic to decide whether or not it wishes to be a Commonwealth country; if it decides that it does so wish, the Members of the Commonwealth will consider and decide whether or not it is to be a Member. In the meantime the Republic is to be treated, in the words of the Secretary of State for the Colonies, in moving the second reading of the Cyprus Bill in the House of Commons, 'as if it was with, but not of, the Commonwealth'. This expression is, no doubt, politically valuable, but it is legally less than clear. Apparently the Republic will not be a Commonwealth country but will be treated, in the . . .

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