Statute of Westminster

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Westminster, Statute of,

1931, in British imperial history, an act of the British Parliament that gave formal recognition to the autonomy of the dominions of the British Empire and was in effect the founding charter of the British Commonwealth of NationsCommonwealth of Nations,
voluntary association of Great Britain and its dependencies, certain former British dependencies that are now sovereign states and their dependencies, and the associated states (states with full internal government but whose external relations are
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. It declared that the Commonwealth was a free association of autonomous dominions and Great Britain, bound only by common allegiance to the throne, and specified that the British Parliament might not legislate for the dominions except at their request and subject to their assent and that the dominion legislatures were on an equal footing with that of Great Britain. The statute implemented the work of various meetings of the Imperial ConferenceImperial Conference,
assembly of representatives of the self-governing members of the British Empire, held about every four years until World War II. The meetings prior to 1911—in 1887, 1897, 1902, and 1907—were known as Colonial Conferences, and were chiefly
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, which had recognized the virtual independence of the dominions that came into being as a result of World War I and the peace settlements thereafter.