Australian Crown

The Australian Crown is not only what The King or Queen wears when he or she is crowned. It also refers to our oldest legal and constitutional institution.

It is central to our constitutional 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. Our Founding Fathers proposed that and were approved by the people of the six colonies, now the states.

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

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

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

The powers of the Australian Crown are exercised by the Sovereign (The King or  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 dismissed 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 the prime 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 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. It was under the Crown that Australia attained its complete independence.

So before discussing 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 referenced 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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Crowned Republic

A Crowned Republic is a form of government that features a monarch who serves as a symbolic, ceremonial leader with limited authority over matters related to the executive branch and constitutional issues. This type of system is exemplified by countries like Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United Kingdom, which are officially classified as constitutional monarchies. Additionally, the term can be applied to historical republics where the head of state held the title of "doge," such as those found in Venice, Genoa, and the Republic of San Marino. In these cases, the monarch's role was largely symbolic, with actual governance being carried out by elected officials or other government bodies. Overall, a crowned republic is a unique blend of monarchical and republican features in which the monarch's role is largely symbolic but still serves an important ceremonial function.
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