THE COMMONWEALTH OF NATIONS
The Commonwealth was traditionally made up of Britain and her formercolonies but today there are members of the commonwealth, like Rwanda and Mozambique, who were not formercolonies 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.
FEATURES OF THE COMMONWEALTH
- Queen as Head of Commonwealth: One of the main features of theCommonwealth 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 theCommonwealth 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 thecommonwealth 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 Commonwealthis 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. Theeducational system of each member state was modeled on the educational system of the British.
- Common Legal System: The members of the Commonwealthalso 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 theCommonwealth, they are referred to as High Commissioners. The functions they perform as High Commissioners are not however, substantially different from those performed by ambassadors.