In January 1920, the ‘Journal of Parliaments of the Empire’ was first published as the record of the debates and activities of the Parliaments of the Association, published four times a year.
In 1949, when the London declaration formed the ‘modern’ Commonwealth, the publication became the ‘Journal of the Parliaments of the Commonwealth’.
In 1966, the journal became The Parliamentarian as the established publication of the Association.
The quarterly journal underwent a transition from a summary of debates in Commonwealth Parliaments to become a record of advances in democratic governance and a forum for the sharing of best practice. At the same time, the CPA would take on the professional development role, not just for new Parliamentarians in emerging Assemblies, but for all Parliamentarians throughout the Commonwealth. By helping Parliamentarians and parliamentary officials to enhance their knowledge of the many different ways in which their institution operates throughout the Commonwealth, to understand diverse perspectives on political issues and to realize that they are not alone in the practice of their professions, the CPA has contributed to the improvement of governance throughout the Commonwealth.
Over the years, supplements to The Parliamentarian have featured the host Branches for the Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference and the CPA Executive Committee Meetings, showcasing their Parliaments and political life. The Parliamentarian features regular columns by the CPA Chairperson, the CPA Small Branches Chairperson, the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians Chairperson and the CPA Secretary-General to highlight the work of the CPA and its networks.
Today, The Parliamentarian continues to be published for the benefit of the Association, reaching around 17,000 Parliamentarians and parliamentary staff in the CPA’s 180 Parliaments and Legislatures in both print and digital format. Subscribers also include academia interested in political science, research libraries and global organisations.
Between 1966 and 1984, The Parliamentarian was published as a book format. Regular features at the time included the architectural plans for new Parliament Buildings in Commonwealth jurisdictions.
In 1984, the magazine format for The Parliamentarian was first launched (Volume LXV: Issue 3). The first magazine design for The Parliamentarian ran from 1984 to 1998. The second magazine design for The Parliamentarian ran from 1999 to 2008. The third magazine design for The Parliamentarian ran from 2009 to 2019.
In January 2020, the CPA marked the 100th anniversary issue of the first publishing of the journal in January 1920 (Volume 1 Issue One).