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The Academy

Our Networks

For over twenty years, the CPA has supported special networks related to gender, disabilities and legislatures from smaller jurisdictions. Find out more below. 

CPA Small Branches

CPA Small Branches

Empowering small Parliaments and Legislatures to tackle big challenges.
Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians (CWP)

Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians (CWP)

The CWP works to increase gender equality in 180 Parliaments and Legislatures across the Commonwealth.
Commonwealth Parliamentarians with Disabilities

Commonwealth Parliamentarians with Disabilities

Read more about the Commonwealth Parliamentarians with Disabilities (CPwD) network.

Affiliated and Related Networks

The CPA has, since its establishment in 1911, worked alongside other Commonwealth parliamentary networks. These networks and entities are not managed by the CPA although there is a strong synergy with our work and we seek to support and collaborate with them on an ongoing basis.

Society of Clerks-at-the-Table (SOCATT)

The Society of Clerks-at-the-Table in Commonwealth Parliaments exists to:

Provide a means by which the Parliamentary practice of various Legislative Chambers of the Commonwealth may be made more accessible to Clerks-at-the-Table, or those having similar duties, in any such Legislature in the exercise of their professional duties; and foster among Officers of Parliament a mutual interest in their duties, rights and privileges.

 

Relationship with the CPA

The Society was founded in 1932 by Owen Clough, a former Clerk of the Senate of South Africa. In 1903 Clough had accompanied the South African representative to the Delhi Durbar and when Sir Howard D’Egville founded the Empire (now Commonwealth) Parliamentary Association (CPA), Clough became the South African branch secretary which gave him the opportunity to visit Australia and Canada. As a result, on his retirement from the Clerkship of the Senate, Clough determined to do for the officers of Parliaments what D’Egville had already done for their Members.

The changed conditions of the post-war world and the ever increasing contact between the Parliaments of the Commonwealth caused the Society to think seriously about the possibility of also holding conferences. The Society began discussions with the CPA to see how its members’ wish to have properly organised meetings at least once a year could best be handled. The result was an agreement that time would be provided during the annual CPA Conference for a General Meeting of the Society. The first such meeting was held in the United Kingdom in 1961: the 42nd meeting was held in the Fiji Islands in 2005.

 

For information about the Society of Clerks-at-the Table in Commonwealth Parliaments, or to make membership changes, please contact:

The Society of Clerks-at-the-Table in Commonwealth Parliaments
Overseas Office
House of Commons
London SW1A 0AA
United Kingdom
socatt@parliament.uk

Ms. Lynn Gardner - GARDNERLM@parliament.uk
Clerk of the Overseas Office
House of Commons
LONDON
SW1A 0AA
Tel:+44 20 7219 3314

More information can be found here.

Conference of Speakers and Presiding Officers of the Commonwealth (CSPOC)

The Conference brings together the Speakers and Presiding Officers (CSPOC) of the national Parliaments of the independent sovereign states of the Commonwealth. It was created in 1969 as an initiative of then Speaker of the House of Commons of Canada, Hon. Lucien Lamoureux. Since its inception, Canada has provided CSPOC with a Secretariat to support its activities.

CSPOC operates on a two-year cycle, holding a conference of the full membership every two years, usually early in January, and a meeting of the Standing Committee at the same time the intervening year.

The Conference aims to:

  • Maintain, foster, and encourage impartiality and fairness on the part of Speakers and Presiding Officers of Parliaments;
  • Promote knowledge and understanding of parliamentary democracy in its various forms; and
  • Develop parliamentary institutions.

 

To contact the Secretary of the Standing Committee of the CSPOC or for further information on the conference, please direct your request at:

Secretariat to the CSPOC
Committees
House of Commons — Parliament of Canada
6th Floor, 131 Queen Street
Ottawa (Ontario) K1A 0A6, CANADA

E-mail: cspoc@parl.gc.ca
Tel: (1) 613-943-9484

Visit the website here.

Commonwealth Association of Public Accounts Committees (CAPAC)

The Commonwealth Association of Public Accounts Committees (CAPAC) is designed to support the work of Public Accounts Committees in Commonwealth Parliaments and Legislatures in promoting good governance, implementing the declaration on these committees contained in the communiqué of the November 2013 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting: 'Heads of Government further reaffirmed that strong and independent Parliamentary oversight plays an important role in preserving the trust of citizens in the integrity of government, through Public Accounts Committees that are effective, independent and transparent.'

As set out in the CAPAC constitution, a small CAPAC Coordination Unit is provided by a Commonwealth Member branch. This is informally known as the Secretariat. The Secretariat provides administrative support for the Association under the direction of the Chair of the Executive Committee. The current Secretariat is CPA UK Branch and the contact person is Ms Rebekah Northall via cpauk@parliament.uk

CAPAC has developed a portal for PAC Members to utilise, you can access the portal here. However access must be granted by the CAPAC Secretariat. 

Commonwealth Communications Professionals Network (CPCN)

Established in 2021, by the UK House of Commons, the Commonwealth Parliamentary Communications Network (CPCN) is a professional development network for people working in parliamentary communications in legislatures across the Commonwealth. The network mirrors a number of other informal networks in existence across the Commonwealth parliamentary community for people to exchange ideas, knowledge and best practice. Covering everything from how legislatures can best use social media, to the facilities provided to the media.

The CPA supported the establishment of the network by identifying members of such a network as part of a CPRS inquiry service. 

For more information on the network and to get involved, contact: Alasdair Rendall at the UK Parliament via rendallae@parliament.uk 

Steering Committee of the Parliamentary Conference on the World Trade Organisation (WTO)

The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association is represented at the Steering Committee of the Parliamentary Conference on the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

The Parliamentary Conference on the WTO (PCWTO) is organised jointly by the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and the European Parliament.

According to the rules of procedure for the Parliamentary Conference on the WTO, the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) is one of the international organisations represented on the Steering Committee. The following CPA Branches are also currently represented on the Steering Committee of the PCWTO: Botswana, Cameroon, India, Singapore, South Africa, and Tanzania.

The CPA is usually represented by an Officer of the Association or a Member of the CPA Executive Committee. Members of the CPA also attend the Parliamentary Conference on the WTO, which often takes place alongside the WTO Ministerial Conference.