Commonwealth Essay 2009

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Dr Ros Macdonald, Director of Graduate Law Programmes of Queensland University of Technology, Australia, who has been associated with the Commonwealth Legal Education for many years, said the conference was by far the best CLEA conference she had attended.

Mr Aldo Zammit-Borda, Legal Editor of the Commonwealth Secretariat, commended the City U Law School for bringing together such a diverse community of legal scholars and hoped for continued institutional cooperation.

When Britain joined the European Economic Community (later succeeded by the European Union [EU]) in 1973, the trade privileges of member countries began to be reduced.

Now Commonwealth members have trade agreements with the EU.

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a free association of sovereign states comprising the United Kingdom and a number of its former dependencies who have chosen to maintain ties of friendship and practical cooperation and who acknowledge the British monarch as symbolic head of their association.

In 1949 India announced its intention to become a republic, which would have required its withdrawal from the Commonwealth under the existing rules, but at a meeting of Commonwealth heads of government in London in April 1949 it was agreed that India could continue its membership if it accepted the British crown as only “the symbol of the free association” of Commonwealth members.

That declaration was the first to drop the adjective British, and thereafter the official name of the organization became the Commonwealth of Nations, or simply the Commonwealth.

These governments comprise a lawmaking body (often called the legislative council); an executive body (called the executive council), which with the governor is the executive authority; and an independent judiciary.

At first government posts are appointive, but an increasing elected element is introduced, as constitutions are altered, until elected officials are made wholly responsible for local affairs.

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