Terms of Service

Please read these terms and conditions carefully, they contain important information about your rights and obligations.

1.    Introduction

1.1    Welcome to the Commonwealth Secretariat (‘the Secretariat’). The service we provide is subject to these terms and conditions. Please read them carefully before using this website. By accessing or using this website you agree to be legally bound by these terms and conditions as they may be modified and posted on our website from time to time.

1.2    Without prejudice to the above, by using or accessing our website, you agree to be legally bound by these terms and conditions of use as they apply to your use of or access to our website.

1.3    If you do not wish to be bound by these terms and conditions then you may not use our website.

2.    Nature of our website

2.1    Our website is a place for you to select and order products (‘Products’). Our website describes the Products in more detail and as best as we possibly can. If a Product offered by the Secretariat on this site does not fit the description, your sole remedy is to return the product in unused condition.

2.2    When you visit the website of the Secretariat or send us email, you are communicating with us electronically and therefore consent to receive communication from us electronically. This could be in the form of email, or notices posted on the website. You agree that all communications that we provide to you electronically satisfy any legal requirement that such communications be in writing. 

3.    Buying Products on our website

3.1    To order a Product you will need to follow the ordering procedures set out on our order page. Details of our prices for the Products and the procedures for payment are displayed on our website.

3.2    Any times or dates stated on our website for delivery are estimates only. All deliveries will be made by independent carrier. The Secretariat’s distributor, Turpin Distribution, will make all reasonable efforts to deliver goods within the time specified, but the Secretariat shall not accept liability for any failure within that time. The risk of loss and the title in the product passes to you upon the distributor’s delivery to the carrier.

3.3    You must pay by credit or debit card at the time of order. The price of any Product is the price in force at the date and time of your order. We may change the price of any Product before you place an order. We try to ensure that our prices displayed on our website are accurate but the price on your order will need to be validated by us as part of the acceptance procedure (See Clause 3.4 below). We will inform you if a Product’s correct price is higher than that stated in your order and you may cancel the order and decide whether or not to order the product at the correct price. The prices are exclusive of postage and packaging costs.

3.4    The Secretariat is entitled to refuse any order placed by you. If your order is accepted, we will confirm acceptance to you by online electronic means (‘Confirmation’) to the email address you have given us on registration or on ordering. The order will then be fulfilled by the date set out in the Confirmation or, if the Confirmation does not contain such a date, within 28 days. Delivery will be made by an appropriate carrier.

3.5    You undertake that all details you provide to us for the purpose of purchasing goods or services which may be offered by us on our website will be correct, that the credit or debit card, or any electronic cash, which you use is your own and that there are sufficient funds or credit facilities to cover the cost of any goods or services.

3.6    Items for sale on this website are only an invitation to treat.

3.7    You are making an offer when placing an order that can be accepted or declined. The offer is accepted once payment has been successfully taken for the Product(s) being purchased. For credit card payments, this will be when your card is debited. For all other payments, this will be when cleared funds have reached the Secretariat’s bank account.

3.8    All orders are usually despatched 3 working days after receipt of the order and cleared payment, and if the book is in stock. It can take up to 4 weeks for your order to be received depending on the country of delivery.

4.    Returns

4.1    You may return any Products you have purchased within 5 days of delivery for any reason (including if you simply change your mind). To do so you must notify us in writing or other durable medium (including email) within those 5 days. You will then be entitled to a refund from the Secretariat, which will be paid as soon as possible, but in any event within 30 days. You must arrange for and pay the costs of returning the Products to the Secretariat’s distributor. While in your possession, you must keep any Products you intend to return to us in good condition.

4.2    If

  • the Product delivered is not what you ordered (including any substitute Products); or
  • the Product delivered is not of a satisfactory quality; 

the Secretariat will, at its option, deliver to you a replacement Product or refund to you the price paid and your reasonable costs of returning the Products.

4.3    If you have any complaints, you should direct them to us via email at [email protected] or by post to the Publications Section, Communications Division, Commonwealth Secretariat, Marlborough House, Pall Mall, London SW1Y 5HX, UK.

5.    Modifications to website

5.1    We reserve the right to alter, suspend or discontinue any aspect of our website or the content or services available through it, including your access to it. Unless explicitly stated any new features including new content and/or the sale of new Products shall be subject to these terms and conditions.

5.2    Please note that although we try to ensure that the content of our website is accurate, our website may contain typographical errors and other inaccuracies.

6.    Information you provide

6.1    The following applies to any information you provide to us, for example during any registration or ordering process:

  • You authorise us to use, store or otherwise process any personal information which relates to and identifies you, including but not limited to your name and address, to the extent reasonably necessary to provide the services which are available through our website by us or our successors.
  • If you obtain or choose to buy Products through our website then we may collect information about your buying behaviour and if you send us personal correspondence such as emails or letters then we may collect this information into a file specific to you, the various purposes set out in this paragraph and in our privacy policy shall be known as ‘the Purposes’. All such information collected by us shall be referred to in these terms and conditions as ‘Personal Information’.
  • You must ensure that the Personal Information you provide is accurate and complete and that all ordering or registration details (where applicable) contain your correct name, address and other requested details. For more information about how we deal with your Personal Information, please read our Privacy Policy. 

6.2    By accepting these terms and conditions, you agree to the processing and disclosure of the Personal Information for the Purposes as outlined above. If you would like to review or modify any part of your Personal Information then you should email us at publicati[email protected]

6.3    You warrant and undertake that you will not use our website for any purpose that is illegal or prohibited by these terms and conditions, including without limitation the posting or transmitting of any libellous, defamatory, inflammatory or obscene material. If you breach these terms and conditions then your permission to use this website terminates immediately without the necessity of any notice being given to you. We retain the right to deny access to any person who fails to comply with these terms and conditions.

7.    Security

7.1    You are solely responsible in all respects for all use of and for protecting the confidentiality of any username, email verification and password that may be given to you or selected by you for use on our website. You may not share these with or transfer them to any third parties. You must notify us immediately of any unauthorised use of them or any other breach of security regarding our website that comes to your attention. 

8.    Applicability of online materials

8.1    Unless otherwise specified the materials published on our website are presented solely for your private, personal and non-commercial use.

8.2    Our website is controlled and operated by us. You assume total responsibility and risk for your use of our website and use of all information contained within it.

8.3    We have used our best endeavours to ensure that our website complies with United Kingdom law. However, we make no representations that the materials on our website are appropriate or available for use in locations outside the UK. Those who visit our website from other locations do so on their own initiative and are responsible for compliance with all applicable laws. If use of our website and/or viewing of it, or use of any material or content on our website or services, or products offered through our website are contrary to or infringe any applicable law in your jurisdiction(s), you are not authorised to view or use our website and you must exit immediately.

8.4    We make no representations and give no warranties, express or implied that making the Products available in any particular jurisdiction outside the UK is permitted under any applicable non-UK laws or regulations. Accordingly, if making the Products or any part available in your jurisdiction or to you (by reason of nationality, residence or otherwise) is prohibited, those Products are not offered for sale to you. You accept that if you are resident outside the UK, you must satisfy yourself that you are lawfully able to purchase the Products. The Secretariat accepts no liability, to the extent permitted by applicable law, for any costs, losses or damages resulting from or related to the purchase or attempted purchase of the Products by persons in jurisdictions outside the UK or who are nominees of or trustees for citizens, residents or nationals of other countries.

9.    Copyright and monitoring

9.1    The contents of our website are protected by international copyright laws and other intellectual property rights. The owner of these rights is the Secretariat or other third party licensors. All product and company names and logos mentioned in our website are the trademarks, service marks or trading names of their respective owners, including us. You may download material from our website for the sole purpose of placing an order with the Secretariat or using our website as a shopping resource. However, you may not modify, copy, reproduce, republish, upload, post, transmit or distribute, by any means or in any manner, any material or information on or downloaded from our website including but not limited to text, graphics, video, messages, code and/or software without our prior written consent, except where expressly invited to do so, for example in order to complete any test or questionnaire. 

10.    Linked sites

10.1    The Secretariat makes no representations whatsoever about any other websites which you may access through our website or which may link to our website. When you access any other website you understand that it is independent from the Secretariat and that we have no control over the content or availability of that website. In addition, a link to any other site does not mean that the Secretariat endorses or accepts any responsibility for the content, or the use of, such a website and shall not be liable for any loss or damage caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with use of or reliance on any content, goods or services available on or through any other web or resource. Any concerns regarding any external link should be directed to its website administrator or web master.

11.    Availability of our website

11.1    We will try to make our website available but cannot guarantee that our website will operate continuously or without interruptions or be error free and can accept no liability for its unavailability. You must not attempt to interfere with the proper working of our website and, in particular, you must not attempt to circumvent security, tamper with, hack into, or otherwise disrupt any computer system, server, website, router or any other internet connected device.

12.    Limitation of liability

12.1    We exclude all other express or implied terms, conditions, warranties, representations or endorsements whatsoever with regard to any products (including without limitation the Products), our website or any information or service provided through our website.

12.2    We will do our best to ensure that all materials and information published on our website are accurate, but please note that all materials and information on our website are provided on an as is and ‘as available’ basis and you assume total responsibility and risk for your use of our website and use of all information contained within it.

12.3    We accept no liability for any indirect or consequential loss or damage, or for any loss of data, profit, revenue or business (whether direct or indirect), however caused, even if foreseeable. In circumstances where you suffer loss or damage arising out of or in connection with the viewing, use or performance of our website or its contents other than as a direct result of purchasing Products (which shall be subject to the exclusions and limitation of liability set out in these terms and conditions), we accept no liability for this loss or damage (except where we have been negligent) whether due to inaccuracy, error, omission or any other cause and whether on the part of the Secretariat or our agents.

12.4    If we are liable to you for any reason, our liability will be limited to the amount paid by you for the Product concerned. This limit does not apply to any liability we may have for death or personal injury resulting from our negligence or for our fraudulent misrepresentation.

12.5    You are responsible for ensuring that your computer system meets all relevant technical specifications necessary to use our website and is compatible with our website. You also understand that we cannot and do not guarantee or warrant that any material available for downloading from our website will be free from infection, viruses and/or other code that has contaminating or destructive properties. You are responsible for implementing sufficient procedures and virus checks (including anti-virus and other security checks) to satisfy your particular requirements for the accuracy of data input and output.

12.6    The limitations and exclusions in this clause do not affect your non-excludable statutory rights and only apply to the extent permitted by applicable law.

13.    General

13.1    We may assign, novate or subcontract any or all of our rights and obligations under these terms and conditions at any time. 

13.2    We may alter these terms and conditions from time to time and post the new version on our website, following which all use of our website will be governed by that version. You must check the terms and conditions on the website regularly.

13.3    These terms and conditions together with the privacy policy, any order form and payment method instructions, if any, are the whole agreement between you and the Secretariat. You acknowledge that you have not entered into this agreement in reliance upon any warranty or representation made by the Secretariat or any other person and you irrevocably and unconditionally waive any rights to claim damages and/or rescind these terms and conditions by reason of misrepresentation (other than a fraudulent misrepresentation) that is not contained in the terms and conditions, privacy policy, order form and payment method instructions.

13.4    If any provision or term of these terms and conditions shall become or be declared illegal, invalid or unenforceable for any reason whatsoever, such term or provision shall be divisible from the other terms and conditions and shall be deemed to be deleted from them.

13.5    These terms and conditions and your use of our website are governed by English law and you submit to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the English court.

13.6    Except in respect of payment obligation, neither you nor the Secretariat will be held liable for any failure to perform any obligation to the other due to causes beyond your or the Secretariat's respective reasonable control.

13.7    Failure or delay by either party enforcing an obligation or exercising a right under these terms and agreement does not constitute a waiver of that obligation or right.

13.8    These terms and conditions do not confer any rights on any person or party (other than you and/or us) pursuant to the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999.

14.    Notices

14.1    All notices shall be given:

  • to us via email at [email protected]; or 

  • to you at either the email or postal address you provide during any ordering process. 

14.2    Notice will be deemed received when an email is received in full (or else on the next business day if it is received on a weekend or a public holiday in the place of receipt) or three days after the date of posting.

Permissions for reproduction or commercial use can be obtained through the Copyright Clearance Centre. For requests for translation rights please email [email protected]