Happy Birthday to the Statute of Westminster

This morning’s Globe reminds us of a significant anniversary, that of the 75th Anniversary of theStatute of Westminster

By some unseemly joke of constitutional myopia, the Justice Canada website suggests that the Statute has been repealed:

Notice to the reader: This document is no longer in effect. It remains on the site for reference purposesIf one checks the Canada Act, 1982 it states: In so far as they apply to Canada, (a) section 4 is repealed; and (b) subsection 7(1) is repealed. .

Which is hilarious, since it is the third most important statute in terms of defining Canada’s political and constitutional statusAfter the Constitution Act, 1867 and the Canada Act, 1982, which included the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.. In 1931 the Statute of Westminster officially gave the Dominions the full power to rule themselves, although in practice they already did this.

BNA Act, 1867

The power of the Canadian Parliament is expressly sovereign:

SofW, 1931

Churchill’s opposition to the statute was duly noted:


And for all those Slaw fans of MacKenzie King, a pin-up of him signing the Statute:

MacKenzie King


  1. Maybe the UK repealed it, Simon. I think they’re still angry about us selling the Bay to an American.

  2. Nice post, Simon. Love the images of the docs themselves.

  3. :-) I just wrote a comment on how much I liked the paper images and the ‘digital life’ Simon had brought to this post, then nixed it ’cause I thought it sounded sappy…

    Thanks to Simon F., sappy’s ok here at Slaw. :-) count me in too, nice arrangement!