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The Australian Crown is not just what The Queen wears when she is crowned. The word also refers to our oldest  legal and constitutional institution.

It is a central to our constiutional system.

Today it remains an important check and balance against the abuse of power by those elected to represent the people and form the Federal and State governments.

With the High Court, it is the only institution which straddles the State and Federal divide.

When our Founding Fathers established our Federation, there was no serious proposal that the new nation should be anything but a crowned republic.

The essence of the new nation was that it would be an indissoluble Federal Commonwealth under the Crown. That was proposed by our Founding Fathers and approved by the people of the six colonies, now the States.

This was affirmed by the people in all of the six States and by 72% of all electorates in a referendum in 1999.  


It is surprising then how little it is understood and studied, particularly by those who propose the  removal of the Australian Crown.

The Australian Crown is not an historical curiosity, nor a jumble of separate and unrelated offices.

The powers of the Australian Crown are exercised by the Sovereign ( The Queen) , the Governor-General  and the Governors in accordance with established customs, often called conventions.

All of this means that the Australian Crown ensures through the Sovereign, the Governor-General and the Governors that the nation enjoys  leadership beyond politics.

Proposals for change involve turning our crowned republic into some sort of politicians’ republic.

This would involve elections every three or four years to choose sixteen additional politicians each with their own political agenda.

Or it would involve the appointment of functionaries by the politicians.

Under the model proposed in 1999 – unique in the world - the president would be instantly dismissible by the prime minister, without notice, without the requirement to give any reasons and without any appeal which could result in reinstatement.

The president would have been completely under the control of th eprime minister. Monarchists said that "this would be the only republic ever known where it would have been easier for the prime minister to sack the president than his driver."

Treating the vice regal offices as unrelated is as wrong  as seeing an iceberg as only its visible tip.

This approach is analogous to dividing the tip of that iceberg into seven pieces and then saying each is unrelated not only to the others, but also to the vast part of the iceberg under the waves which is being ignored.

Whether we like it or not, the Crown remains the nation’s oldest institution, above politics, central to its constitutional system, and with the High Court, the only institution which straddles the component parts of the Commonwealth, State and the Federal, and looking outwards through the personal union of the sixteen Crowns and across the Commonwealth of Nations.

It was under the Crown that the nation was founded; it was under the Crown that responsible government was granted, it was under the Crown that the nation federated and it was under the Crown that Australia attained its full and complete independence.

So before we talk about its removal, we have to understand what it is.

 


In the following sections we discuss the roles and functions of the office of the Governor- General and the Governors.

We then discuss ten aspects of the role and functions of the Australian Crown: as part of the Legislature, as the formal Executive, the Fount of Justice, the Fount of Honour, Head of State, the Command–in-Chief, the employer of the Public Service, the Federal Lynchpin, the Constitutional Guardian, in the Personal Union and as the Head of the Commonwealth.

And as we are discussing the Commonwealth, we have brought in here a reference to the Anglosphere, the English speaking countries.

The United States of America have more in common than their language, and our Founders looked to aspects of American constitutional arrangements in proposing ours.

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