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Commonwealth Speakers from UK and Overseas Territories meet in Anguilla for discussion on deepening parliamentary democracy

The 2nd Commons and Overseas Territories Speakers’ Conference (COTSC) has been held at the Anguilla House of Assembly from 3 to 5 April 2023 on a theme of ‘Deepening Parliamentary Democracy in the British Overseas Territories - A Roadmap to 2030’.

The conference was hosted by the Speaker of the Anguilla House of Assembly, Hon. Barbara Webster-Bourne. Speaker Webster-Bourne is also the CPA Small Branches Vice-Chairperson. Commonwealth Speakers and representatives attended from Anguilla, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands, Montserrat, St Helena, Turks and Caicos and Gibraltar as well as the United Kingdom.

The conference continued the discussions at the inaugural COTSC hosted by Rt Hon. Sir Lindsay Hoyle, MP, Speaker of the UK House of Commons in the UK last year, where it was noted that well-structured and resourced Legislatures are essential to a vibrant democracy in the Overseas Territories.

2nd Commons and Overseas Territories Speakers’ Conference (COTSC)

Commonwealth Speakers from UK and Overseas Territories meet in Anguilla for discussion on deepening parliamentary democracy

2nd Commons and Overseas Territories Speakers’ Conference (COTSC)

Commonwealth Speakers from UK and Overseas Territories meet in Anguilla for discussion on deepening parliamentary democracy

2nd Commons and Overseas Territories Speakers’ Conference (COTSC)

Commonwealth Speakers from UK and Overseas Territories meet in Anguilla for discussion on deepening parliamentary democracy

At this year’s conference, the Speakers, alongside Parliamentary Clerks and constitutional experts, examined different aspects of building strong Legislatures and effective parliamentary democracy. Over a series of sessions, deliberations provided a roadmap to deepen parliamentary democracy and support good governance in each Overseas Territory.

The CPA Headquarters’ Head of Programmes, Matthew Salik also presented on the CPA’s Democratic Benchmarks and Model Law for Parliaments which provide frameworks for excellence in Commonwealth parliamentary and legislative practice.

The full communique from the 2nd Commons and Overseas Territories Speakers’ Conference (COTSC) 2023 is available in the link here.

Speakers and Presiding Officers attending included:

  • Hon. Barbara Webster-Bourne, Speaker of the Anguilla House of Assembly
  • Hon. Dennis P. Lister, JP, MP, Speaker of the Bermuda House of Assembly
  • Hon. Katherine Wilks, MP, Speaker of the Cayman Islands Parliament
  • Hon. Keith Biles, JP, MLA, Speaker of the Falkland Islands Legislative Assembly
  • Hon. Charliena White, Speaker of the Montserrat Legislative Assembly
  • Hon. Cyril Gunnell, MLC, Speaker of the St Helena Legislative Council
  • Hon. Gordon Burton, MHA, Speaker of the Turks and Caicos House of Assembly
  • Rt Hon. Sir Lindsay Hoyle, MP, Speaker of the UK House of Commons

All of the Legislatures attending are Branches of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association across two of the CPA’s Regions - the CPA British Islands and Mediterranean Region and the CPA Caribbean, Americas and the Atlantic Region.

 

-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 (2018)

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

Model Law for Independent Parliaments

The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) has developed a Model Law for Independent Parliaments to help empower Parliaments to take control away from the Executive to ensure it has the administrative, operational and financial resources it needs to function effectively.

Parliamentary Financial Oversight: Adapting PAC Best Practices to Legislatures in Small Jurisdictions

This Handbook provides recommendations on how to adapt best practices for financial oversight to the resource and size limitations of smaller legislatures.

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