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Global 21 fourth quarter 2015 global four th quar ter 2015 -br ief l 77 commonwealth network Colloquia guaranteed a level of similar jurisprudence when it comes to key English law concepts. In the inevitable event of day-to-day contractual, and other, business disputes that come before the courts, parties may be more at ease in ensuring their interests are served in a structure that involves similar legal systems. In the ever-growing field of dispute resolution – which serves as an alternative to the highly contentious litigation process – many emerging and developed economies are contracting parties to the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards (The New York Convention). This convention serves as a mechanism to ensure that awards in foreign arbitration are enforced, so that parties are compelled to honour the decision of the arbitration process. Due consideration may need to be given to a model of governance for the enforcement of the provisions of the trading bloc in a centralised location. This body should draw on the skills and expertise of a wide cross section, harnessing the best in both legal and economic minds that exist in the Commonwealth. It has been widely accepted that greater access to cheaper goods and services not only leans towards competition, and ultimately benefits the domestic consumers of such goods, but also allows for otherwise weak economies to use new modes of technologies to build their economic capacity. Young entrepreneurs across the UK may find great value in tapping into markets in the Caribbean and Africa with rich potential, for example. A Commonwealth trading arrangement would make for crossborder transactions, benefiting both the UK and the host markets that traders are based in. Local communities could enjoy the benefit of receiving new efficiencies associated with high-end goods at a cheaper rate, while the producers of these goods yield greater profits. Outside of the hard numbers of profit, which trade ultimately is governed by, such an agreement should thus be underscored by the Commonwealth’s ideals, which address the issues of economic inequality and the promotion of institutional co-operation, among other things. This discussion is perhaps quite timely, as the biennial Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) will be taking place as this magazine is published. This will be preceded by one of four key parallel events, namely the Commonwealth Business Forum (CBF), which invariably feeds into the heads of governments’ deliberations. It must be noted that the UK already has a number of bilateral trade and double taxation agreements in place with individual Commonwealth nations. However, creating a trade bloc within the 53-member grouping would allow for a route for British goods and services to gain access to the wider world, without the restrictions that have hitherto existed. The Commonwealth therefore presents an opportunity for the UK to strengthen its position as a major global trading nation, by guaranteeing that the long-envied and much revered British global competitiveness it now enjoys remains, in both the medium and long terms. Chad Blackman is chairman of the Commonwealth Students’ Association Legal Advice Initiative and has served as president of the European Law Students Association (ELSA) UK. He was a former youth development consultant at the Commonwealth Secretariat and is currently undertaking the Bar Professional Training Course at City Law School in London. He can be reached at states individually and collectively in advancing democracy, the rule of law, human rights, good governance, social and economic development, and respect for diversity within the values and principles-based approach reflected in the Commonwealth Charter. Marlborough House is more than 300 years old. It has been occupied by some five Dukes and Duchesses of Marlborough, three dowager queens and three Princes of Wales, who later became kings. Sir Christopher Wren was commissioned in 1709 to draw up the plans for Marlborough House by Sarah Churchill, the first Duchess of Marlborough, on land leased from Queen Anne. The building was completed in 1711. Descendants of the Marlboroughs occupied the house until 1817, when the lease was bought back by the Crown. Today, the rooms of Marlborough House contain exquisite murals, tapestries, paintings and sculptures, which relay the history of the building and its various occupants over the centuries. The gardens retain their 18th-century layout of gravel paths and grass lawns. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Head of the Commonwealth, made the house available for the benefit of the Commonwealth in 1959. Marlborough House is currently home to the Commonwealth Secretariat and the Commonwealth Foundation, and has been the venue for a number of independence negotiations and many Commonwealth conferences, including summit meetings of Commonwealth Heads of Government. Some 230 staff work there and in Quadrant House, on the opposite side of Pall Mall. Increased competition between nations could see prices fall for consumers © Vlododymyr Krasyuk /

Global 21 fourth quarter 2015
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