Commonwealth Parliamentary Association


The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA), previously known as the Empire Parliamentary Association, is an organisation which works to support good governance, democracy and human rights.

In 1989 the patron of the CPA was the Head of the Commonwealth, Queen Elizabeth II. The vice-patronship rotates amongst Heads of State and of Government of the Commonwealth nations who host its forthcoming annual Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference. The Association's supreme authority is the General Assembly, constituted by delegates to the annual Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference.[1] The business and activities of the CPA are managed by an Executive Committee, which reports to the General Assembly. The CPA's funds are derived from membership fees paid by its branches, as well as from two trust funds and benefactors.

The official publication of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association is The Parliamentarian, the Journal of Commonwealth Parliaments which was first published in January 1920. The organisation administers the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians (CWP), a network across the Commonwealth which promotes greater representation for women in Parliament; the CPA Small Branches network, representing parliaments and legislatures with populations below 500,000 people; the Commonwealth Parliamentarians with Disabilities (CPwD) network; and the Commonwealth Youth Parliament, an annual gathering of young people hosted by a Commonwealth Parliament.

The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) currently has approximately 180 branches and is divided into nine regions: Africa, Asia, Australia, British Islands and Mediterranean, Canada, Caribbean, Americas and Atlantic, India, Pacific, and South-East Asia. The CPA Headquarters Secretariat is based in London.


CPA conference, Isle of Man, October 1984
CPA African Branch meeting, 2014

The CPA was founded as the Empire Parliamentary Association in 1911, with its first branches being Australia, Canada, Newfoundland, New Zealand, South Africa and the United Kingdom, the latter branch administering the Association as a whole. In 1948 the Association changed its name to the current Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, and invited all branches to participate in the organisation's administration.


The office of Chairperson of the CPA Executive Committee is vacant. Since April 2021, the Acting CPA Chairperson is Ian Liddell-Grainger MP of the Parliament of the United Kingdom.

Previous CPA Chairpersons have included: Emilia Monjowa Lifaka MP, Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly of Cameroon (2017-2021); Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury, Speaker of Jatiyo Sangsad Bhaban of Bangladesh (2014–2017),[2] who succeeded Sir Alan Haselhurst MP (2011–2014), formerly Chairman of Ways and Means of the UK Parliament.

The position of Acting CPA Vice-Chairperson is vacant.

Since September 2019, the CPA Treasurer is Shamsul Iskandar Md. Akin, MP of the Parliament of Malaysia.

Since September 2019, the Chairperson of the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians is Shandana Gulzar Khan, MNA from the National Assembly of Pakistan. Previous CWP Chairpersons include: Hon. Noraini Ahmad MP, Parliament of Malaysia; Rt Hon. Rebecca Kadaga MP, Parliament of Uganda; Hon. Alix Boyd Knights, House of Assembly of Dominica; Ms Kashmala Tariq, National Assembly of Pakistan; Hon. Lindiwe Maseko, Parliament of South Africa and Gauteng Provincial Legislature.

Since February 2021, the Acting Chairperson for the CPA Small Branches is Joy Burch, MLA, Speaker of the Australian Capital Territory Legislative Assembly. She assumed this position on the resignation of the previous incumbent Niki Rattle, Speaker of the Parliament of the Cook Islands. The first CPA Small Branches Chairperson was Hon. Angelo Farrugia, Speaker of the Parliament of Malta.

In addition, since October 2020, the Chairperson of the Commonwealth Parliamentarians with Disabilities (CPwD) is Kevin Murphy (Canadian politician), MLA, Speaker of the House of Assembly of Nova Scotia.


The CPA's 8th Secretary-General is Stephen Twigg.[3] He was appointed in August 2020 for a four-year term. Twigg was elected to the Parliament of the United Kingdom as a Member of Parliament from 1997 to 2005 (Enfield Southgate) and from 2010 to 2019 (Liverpool West Derby). During his parliamentary career, he held several senior positions including chairing the International Development Select Committee, Minister for Schools and a range of Shadow Front Bench roles.

Previous Secretaries-General have been: Karimulla Akbar Khan, UK/Guyanese Lawyer (2016-2019); William F. Shija, former Minister Tanzania Parliament (2007–2014); Denis Marshall, former Minister New Zealand Parliament (2002–2006); Arthur Donahoe, former Speaker Nova Scotia House of Assembly (1993–2001); David Tonkin, former Premier South Australia (1986–1992); Sir Robin Vandervelt from South Africa (1961–1985); Sir Howard d’Egville (1949–1960).[4]


Members of the CPA are listed below. Both national and subnational parliaments are included.

Members National and Sub-National Parliaments
  Alderney States of Alderney
  Anguilla Parliament of Anguilla
  Antigua and Barbuda
  The Bahamas Parliament of the Bahamas
  Bangladesh Parliament of Bangladesh
  Barbados Parliament of Barbados
  Belize Parliament of Belize
  Bermuda Parliament of Bermuda
  Botswana Parliament of Botswana
  British Virgin Islands House of Assembly of the British Virgin Islands
  Cameroon National Assembly of Cameroon
  Cayman Islands Parliament of the Cayman Islands
  Cook Islands Parliament of the Cook Islands
  Cyprus House of Representatives of Cyprus
  Dominica House of Assembly of Dominica
  Eswatini Parliament of Eswatini
  Falkland Islands Legislative Assembly of the Falkland Islands
  Fiji Parliament of Fiji
  Gambia National Assembly of the Gambia
  Ghana Parliament of Ghana
  Gibraltar Gibraltar Parliament
  Grenada Parliament of Grenada
  Guernsey States of Guernsey
  Guyana National Assembly of Guyana
  Isle of Man High Court of Tynwald
  Jamaica Parliament of Jamaica
  Jersey States of Jersey
  Kenya Parliament of Kenya
  Kiribati House of Assembly
  Lesotho Parliament of Lesotho
  Malawi Parliament of Malawi
  Maldives People's Majlis
  Malta Parliament of Malta
  Mauritius Parliament of Mauritius
  Montserrat Legislative Assembly of Montserrat
  Mozambique Parliament of Mozambique
  Namibia Parliament of Namibia
  Nauru Parliament of Nauru
  New Zealand Parliament of New Zealand
  Niue Niue Assembly
  Papua New Guinea
  Rwanda Parliament of Rwanda
  Saint Helena Legislative Council of Saint Helena
  Saint Kitts and Nevis. Also known as Saint Christopher and Nevis.
  Saint Lucia Parliament of Saint Lucia
  Saint Vincent and the Grenadines House of Assembly of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  Samoa Legislative Assembly of Samoa
  Seychelles Parliament of Seychelles
  Sierra Leone Parliament of Sierra Leone
  Singapore Parliament of Singapore
  Solomon Islands National Parliament of the Solomon Islands
  South Africa
  Sri Lanka Parliament of Sri Lanka
  Tonga Legislative Assembly of Tonga
  Trinidad and Tobago
  Turks and Caicos Islands Turks and Caicos Islands House of Assembly
  Tuvalu Parliament of Tuvalu
  Uganda Parliament of Uganda
  United Kingdom
  Vanuatu Parliament of Vanuatu
  Zambia Parliament of Zambia

Additional linksEdit

  • The CPA Secretariat Headquarters CPA HQ – you will also find links to The Parliamentarian, the Journal of Commonwealth Parliaments, published by the CPA. Link to The Parliamentarian
  • The Africa Region of the CPA CPA Africa
  • The British Islands and Mediterranean Region and UK Branch of the CPA is based in Westminster CPA UK
  • The Canadian Region of the CPA CPA Canada
  • The Australia Region of the CPA CPA Australia
  • The Caribbean, Americas and Atlantic Region of the CPA CPA CAA
  • American Institute of Parliamentarians – similar association for United States.


  1. ^ Archived 2015-10-05 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ "CPA Chair at". Archived from the original on 2015-09-25. Retrieved 2015-10-05.
  3. ^ "Secretary-General Biography". Archived from the original on 2016-10-27.
  4. ^


  •[dead link]

Official Gazettes / HansardsEdit

External linksEdit

  • Official website
  • UK Parliamentary Archives, Records of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association