Vanderbilt Law Review


Ivan L. Head

First Page



Of the 27 members of the Commonwealth of Nations, 11 are located on the continent of Africa. They range in size from Nigeria, with an area of 356,000 square miles and a population of 60 million, to The Gambia, with an area of 4,000 square miles and a population of 350,000 persons. Prior to 1957 all of the 11 States were colonies of the British crown. In little more than a decade they have all gained political independence-one hundred and six million people residing in autonomous communities which are, in the words of the 1926 Balfour Declaration, "equal in status, and in no way subordinate one to another in any aspect of their domestic or external affairs, though united by a common allegiance to the Crown, and freely associated as members of the British Commonwealth of Nations."'