Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Government Creation of a new Constitution

Balfour Declaration 1926
This Declaration accepted the growing political and diplomatic independence of the Dominions, in the years after WWI.
It also recommended that the governors-general, the representatives of the King who acted for the Crown as de facto head of state in each dominion, should no longer also serve automatically as the representative of the British government in diplomatic relations between the countries.
In following years, High Commissioners were gradually appointed, whose duties were soon recognised to be virtually identical to those of an ambassador.
Labor PM James Scullin, acted within its precepts and insisted on picking the new Governor-General rather than taking the person chosen by King GeorgeV. George was forced to agree by the Imperial Conference 1930.

Royal & Parliamentary Titles Act 1927
This act modified the King’s title, proclaiming that he was no longer King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain & Ireland & of the British Dominions, but rather of Great Britain, Ireland and the British Dominions.
This meant that the unified Crown that had been the centre point of the Empire was replaced by multiple crowns worn by a “shared monarch.”
Before 1927, King George V reigned as King in Australia, NZ, Canada and etc, with them all being dominions of the United Kingdom. After 1927, he reigned as King of Australia and etc.
While the King did not seem to grasp the significance, the Irish did, and immediately separated themselves from the new UK monarch.
On the 19th October, 1973, Gough Whitlam, used the Royal Styles Act to create the Queen of Australia, this act being reprinted on 22 April 2002.

Monarch of Australia
Her current Australian title is Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God, Queen of Australia and Her other Realms and territories, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith.
She is regarded as a legal personality of the Australian State, and is referred to as her Majesty the Queen in Right of Australia or Regina in law cases.
As such all state lands are called Crown land, state owned buildings and equipment are called Crown held property, copyright for all government publications are called Crown
Employees of the Crown may be required to recite an oath to the Crown. Parliamentarians, members of the judiciary must do so as well.
The Queen of Australia cannot be sued in foreign courts without her express consent.

State Coat of Arms are now replacing the Sovereign’s Coat of Arms in the courts of Australia.
The Commonwealth Coat of Arms is now known as the Coat of Arms of Australia.
In 2004, an Australian barrister, David Fitzgibbon established in the High Court of London, that the Queen had used the wrong stamp to approve the appointment of the new governor-General. The court agreed. The Queen had used the Great Seal of Australia instead of the Great Seal of Britain.

Westminster System
Although four Prime Minister’s had refused to ratify the Westminster Statute, in 1942 John Curtin was forced to, by the entry of the Japanese into WWII, when it became obvious the British could not protect Australia.
In order to seek an alliance with the US, the Australian
Parliament formally adopted the Statute of Westminster 1931, a statute which allowed our Parliament to act independently of the British Parliament and Government.
This act demonstrated to the international community that Australia was an independent nation.
It also meant that any laws the parliament made which were repugnant to British laws would no longer be invalid.
The Governor-General now assents to all bills with the Great Seal of Australia.

Changes under the Westminster System
* The Westminster system is a series of procedures for operating a legislature.
* The Prime Minister is recognized as the presiding and actual head of the government and head of the executive branch.
* The Queen / Governor-General holds a ceremonial position only.
* A cabinet executes executive authority.
* A multi-party system
* Parliament can be dissolved and elections called at any time.
* Parliamentary Privilege allows the legislature to discuss any issue it feels is relevant, with no fear of consequences
* Government or legislature interpret the results of Plebiscites and may ignore them if desired.
* The Governor-General ceased to be the representative of the British government and a British High Commissioner was from then on appointed.
* The Governor-General now has the responsibility of appointing a prime minister.
* Westminster governments usually do not have a very strong tradition of Separation of Powers.

Australia Act 1986
The power of the Westminster Statute allowed the Australian Parliament to request that the British Parliament enact the Australia act 1986.
This effectively terminated the ability of the British Parliament and government to make laws for Australia, even at their request, and meant that any law previously passed on behalf of Australia could now be done so by the new Australian Parliament and government.
It removed the right of the monarch to exercise their power in Australia unless personally present.
In Sue v Hill 1999, the High Court declared that the UK is a “foreign power”.
This means that such laws as the Magna Carta, Bill of Rights 1689 and etc are the laws of a foreign country and no longer able to be accessed by Australians.

Royal Coat of Arms & Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain

Great Seal of Australia & the Queen of Australia

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