Statute of Westminster of 1931

Statute of Westminster of 1931


an act passed by the British Parliament on Dec. 11, 1931, which defined the legal status of the dominions and their mutual relations with Great Britain.

The Statute of Westminster of 1931 gave legal force to the resolutions of the Empire Conferences of 1926 and 1930 on full independence for the dominions in their domestic and foreign affairs and on their equality with Great Britain. However, the mother country still retained de facto control over the foreign policy of the dominions. In confirming the sovereignty of the dominions, the Statute of Westminster asserted that the laws of Great Britain cannot be extended to the dominions without their consent. Also abolished was the state of affairs in which a dominion law was considered invalid if it was in conflict with the laws of Great Britain. The Statute of Westminster was evidence of the growth of the economic and political independence of the dominions.


The Development of Dominion Status: 1900-1936. Edited by R. MacGregor Dawson. London, 1937.
Wheare, K. The Statute of Westminster and Dominion Status, 5th ed. London, 1953.


References in periodicals archive ?
The armed forces leadership was by then even older, many out of touch with developments, and still much under control by the British, despite the Statute of Westminster of 1931. The depression economy also worked against rapid renewal, although in 1936 some initial plans were made suggesting much more had to be done.
Contemporary reexamination of its claims as constitutional precedent for today, however, might see King-Byng as rooted in its own historical time dimension as a political power contest of the mid-1920s between an Imperial agent or representative still effectively chosen and appointed by the British government of the day, and an unusually astute Canadian politician who was fully prepared to make political capital against a British official in the climate of local, Canadian nationalism of the period that would lead on, within a few years, to Dominion Status and sovereignty as recognized in the Statute of Westminster of 1931.