Statute of Westminster

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Statute of Westminster

1 the Statute of Westminster 1931 distinguished dominions from colonies and legislation applicable to colonies. Dominions were permitted to pass extraterritorial legislation and no UK legislation was to extend to the dominions unless expressly stated to be by dominion consent. The statute has featured in the development of the constitutions of Canada, Australia and New Zealand. It is an important Act in the constitutional law of the UK but also in many other states' constitutions. Britain's empire changed its nature in the latter part of the 19th century into the first half of the 20th century. Granting of dominion status to Canada was the start, and the British North America Act 1867 was replicated in relation to Australia, New Zealand, Newfoundland, the Irish Free State and South Africa. The Balfour Declaration of 1926 referred to freely associated nations within a British Commonwealth of Nations of equal status. Common Crown allegiance was the unifying factor.
2 the Statute of Westminster 1275 was the foundation of the English law of limitation of actions.
References in periodicals archive ?
The Statute of Westminster 1931 (98) contains a preamble which states:
It is arguable that assent is only required of those 15 Commonwealth countries who still have the sovereign as their monarch and who were parties to the agreement on which the Statute of Westminster 1931 was based--now being Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
In the past, Commonwealth assents have been sought pursuant to the Statute of Westminster 1931 on three occasions: (a) in 1936, on the abdication of Edward VIII; (b) in 1947, on the removal of the title 'Emperor of India' from George VI's title; (c) in 1953, on the adoption of separate titles by Elizabeth II for separate countries of which she was sovereign.
Further, the Statute of Westminster 1931, s 4 bears the headnote 'Parliament of the United Kingdom not to legislate for Dominions except by consent'.
In conclusion, the Statute of Westminster 1931 requires various Commonwealth countries to assent to changes to succession--which includes changes affecting the religious restrictions on the sovereign.
Such a change would also require the assent of 15 Commonwealth countries pursuant to the Statute of Westminster 1931, with the same having requested and consented to it.
136) This would not require the assent of other Commonwealth countries pursuant to the Statute of Westminster 1931 (137) (although this has been disputed).