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Commonwealth Parliamentary Association supports landmark parliamentary change in Anguilla

At the 23rd Meeting of the Anguilla House of Assembly on 23 July 2021, the Legislature proposed the Standing Orders, House of Assembly (Procedure) Rules, 2021 which, together with the House of Assembly (Powers and Privileges) Amendment Act 2021, was assented into law by the Governor of Anguilla on 30 July 2021.

The law created a new set of Standing Orders for the Assembly, the first time they had been comprehensively updated since the first set of Standing Orders were enacted in 1976. This result was a culmination of an 18 months’ Technical Assistance Programme led by the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) in partnership with the House of Assembly of Anguilla.

The CPA Recommended Benchmarks for Democratic Legislatures provide a framework for excellence in Commonwealth parliamentary and legislative practice. In February 2020, the House of Assembly of Anguilla became the eleventh Commonwealth Legislature to use the CPA Benchmarks framework to conduct an Assessment. The Assessment recommended a number of reforms to the Assembly and one of the most important was an updated Standing Orders.

In August 2020, the House took its first steps towards reform by establishing a Committee on Parliamentary Reform which has led on the development of these new Standing Orders. The new law will have a number of wider impacts on the Assembly and Anguilla as a whole, including greater gender recognition in the rules of the House and the establishment of an Administration Committee for the House to strengthen its autonomy and powers.

The achievement was a testament to the dedication and determination of the Speaker of the House, the Members of the Committee, the Clerk and his team and the Attorney General’s Office along with the support of the CPA Headquarters Secretariat. The review process was achieved through a cross-party and collaborative process. In addition, recognition should go to Nick Beech, Committee Clerk at the UK Parliament’s House of Commons for his technical input in the drafting of the Standing Orders.

The CPA Secretary-General, Stephen Twigg said:

“The landmark parliamentary reforms in Anguilla demonstrate the CPA’s long-term commitment to our 180 CPA Branches across the Commonwealth and CPA’s ability to provide a framework for democratic governance and to convene experts in parliamentary strengthening for the benefit of Legislatures.”

The Memorandum of Understanding between the CPA and the Anguilla House of Assembly will continue to build on the success thus far, in the development of further programmes of reform, especially those focused on the administration of the Assembly and supporting engagement and outreach programmes.

-ENDS-

The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association connects, develops, promotes and supports Parliamentarians and their staff to identify benchmarks of good governance and the implementation of the enduring values of the Commonwealth. The CPA is an international community of around 180 Commonwealth Parliaments and Legislatures working together to deepen the Commonwealth’s commitment to the highest standards of democratic governance.

For media enquiries, please contact communications@cpahq.org.

Related Resources

CPA Recommended Benchmarks for Democratic Legislatures

Building on the Commonwealth Latimer House Principles on the separation of powers, the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) Recommended Benchmarks for Democratic Legislatures provide a framework for excellence in Commonwealth parliamentary and legislative practice.

Field Guide: CPA Recommended Benchmarks for Democratic Legislatures

The Field Guide is a useful resource to support legislatures to conduct their own internal self-assessment against the CPA Recommended Benchmarks. 

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