Posted by / Wednesday 31 May 2017 / No comments

The features of the Commonwealth of Nations

Old Parliament House, Canberra

The Commonwealth was traditionally made up of Britain and her former colonies but today there are members of the commonwealth, like Rwanda and Mozambique, who were not former colonies of Britain. In its current form the Commonwealth can be described as an association of independent countries who have freely come together to cooperate among each other for the benefit of their citizens.

Queen as Head of Commonwealth
One of the main features of the Commonwealth of Nations is that the Queen of England was made the head of the organization and still remains so. When the British colonies attained independence, many of them retained the Queen of England as their Heads of State until they attained republican status.

Biennial Summit
Another major feature of the Commonwealth is the summit that is held by the organization every two years to discuss matters of importance to member states. These summits are attended by Heads of Government of member countries. 

Common Official Language
One of the features of the commonwealth is that the members speak a common language. All the members, in exception of Rwanda and Mozambique, use English as their official language. India, on the other hand later adopted Hindi to replace the English language. 

Common Systems of Government
Another feature of the Commonwealth is their adoption of a common system of government. After the attainment of independence, the member states that were former colonies of Britain all adopted the parliamentary or the Cabinet system of government that the British, their former colonial master were practicing.

Common Educational Systems
Another feature is that the member states of Commonwealth of Nations have similar educational systems. The educational system of each member state was modeled on the educational system of the British. 

Common Legal System
The members of the Commonwealth also adopted the British legal systems. If one went to a court in any member country of the Commonwealth, the procedures are not different from the procedures adopted by any other member of the Commonwealth, maybe only in those member states that were not originally colonies of Britain.

Exchange of High Commissioners
One other significant feature of the Commonwealth is that when member states exchange ambassadors as is done between any other two sovereign countries, the appointees are not designated as ambassadors. In the Commonwealth, they are referred to as High Commissioners. The functions they perform as High Commissioners are not however, substantially different from those performed by ambassadors.

 1. Highlight six problems that are faced by the Commonwealth of Nations.

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