The Westminster Statute of 1931 is an act of the British Parliament of December 11, 1931, which established the legal status of dominions (states within the British Empire) and their relationship with Britain. Thus, the legal framework of the British Commonwealth of Nations was created (currently the Commonwealth of Nations ).
This parliamentary act brought into force the decisions of the conferences of the British Empire of 1926 (the "Balfour Declaration" ) and 1930 on the complete independence of the dominions in internal and external affairs and on their equality with Great Britain. At the same time, Great Britain still retained actual control over the foreign policy of the dominions.
Reaffirming the sovereignty of dominions, the Westminster Statute indicated that the laws of Great Britain could not apply to dominions without their consent. The position was also repealed in which the dominion law was considered invalid if it was contrary to the laws of Great Britain.
Members of the British Commonwealth , recognizing the Westminster Statute of 1931, have the status of Commonwealth realms , which means their full independence while retaining the post of head of the corresponding state for the British monarch. Thus, the Queen of Great Britain Elizabeth II is simultaneously the Queen of Australia , Barbados , etc.
Of the 54 members of the Commonwealth, only sixteen have kingdom status.
In 1931, the statute was applied to the then dominions: the Commonwealth of Australia , the Dominion of Canada , the Irish Free State , the Dominion of Newfoundland , the Union of South Africa and New Zealand .
Australia ratified the statute only in 1942, while in order to justify participation in the war, the law was extended to the period from September 3, 1939. New Zealand ratified the statute on November 25, 1947. Newfoundland did not ratify the statute; at the request of the local government, the metropolis introduced direct rule in 1934, which continued until the conversion of Newfoundland to the province of Canada in 1949.
- www.legislation.gov.uk - Current version of the statute with all amendments
- www2.marianopolis.edu // Canada and the Statute of Westminster
- www.canadiana.org // Canada and the Statute of Westminster
- www.gov.ns.ca // Statute of Westminster, 1931 (text)
- www.foundingdocs.gov.au // Australia and the Statute of Westminster