The Crown

The Crown was our first institution, and it is our oldest.

As with common law and the language, so with the Crown: it was to be adapted and made Australian, a point specifically recognised by our High Court in 1999 when it ruled, unanimously, that our Crown is in fact a separate, Australian institution. The sovereign is the same person who is the Sovereign of Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and her other realms, but each crown is separate.

In the British Empire in its heyday, there was but one Crown. Labour Leader and High Court Judge Dr Herbert Vere Evatt 1936 (The King and His Dominion Governors, reprinted in Evatt and Forsey on The Reserve Powers, Legal Books, Sydney 1990) concluded that the imperial crown was one and indivisible. But this has changed with the independence of the former dominions, now the realms.

The Australian Crown is the vast institutional, non-political heart of our constitutional government. It draws the line beyond which the politicians and the political parties can't go. Without the sovereign, there could, of course be no such vast institution.

The Crown has many aspects. Above all, it is part and parcel of the defence that the Westminster system provides against the fulfilment of Lord Actons's famous warning, which is fundamental to an understanding of how freedom can best be preserved. This is because power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.


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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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