Commonwealth Essay 2009

A Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting is held every two years.

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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.

The conference saw senior law academics from several countries, including the United Kingdom, Singapore, Australia, South Africa and India, discussing new methods of teaching law as well as problems regarding plagiarism and assessment.

It also addressed contemporary legal issues, such as good governance, anti-corruption measures, corporate responsibility and Islamic finance.

There are also significant educational links between members, as many British teachers travel overseas and many students from Commonwealth members study in Britain.

Other cultural links include the Commonwealth Games, a sporting competition held every four years.

The Commonwealth was also beset by other difficulties, some members opting to withdraw from the organization, as did South Africa (1961), and Pakistan (1972), though both South Africa and Pakistan eventually rejoined (the former in 1994 and the latter in 1989).

Commonwealth membership grew dramatically in the second half of the 20th century as former dependencies attained sovereignty.

After a colony achieves internal self-government, its legislature may apply to the British Parliament for complete independence.

It then decides whether to remain in the Commonwealth.

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