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Legal Studies Units 3 & 4 > The Role Of The Crown > Flashcards

Flashcards in The Role Of The Crown Deck (13):
1

Who represents the crown in Australia

The Crown is represented in Australia by the Queen’s representatives: the governor-general at a federal level and the governors of the six states. Under the Constitution the executive power of the Commonwealth is vested in the Queen and exercisable by the governor-general as the Queen’s representative.

2

Executive Council

The governor-general has the responsibility of appointing a federal executive council, made up of the prime minister and senior ministers, they have a range of roles including establishing government departments, appointing ministers to administer them and to approve delegated legislation. In practice, however, the governor-general acts on the advice of the prime minister and senior ministers, and the executive power is carried out by the government.

3

Governor General responsibility

The governor-general’s main responsibility is to ensure that the democratic system operates effectively. They also give royal assent to proposed bills to make them Law.This requires an effective electoral system, parliament, government and courts. It is also essential that the majority of people are confident that their community functions as a democracy.

4

Governor responsibility

The governor of Victoria is responsible for acting as part of the state executive council with similar duties to the governor-general. They give royal assent to proposed bills to make them Law. The governor also has reserve powers; for example, the power to dismiss a premier if he or she refuses to leave office after a defeat in an election.

5

Reserve powers

The governor-general and the governors of each state hold reserve powers that can be exercised without the advice of ministers and are not listed in the Constitution. One of the functions of the governor-general as the formal head of state is to ensure that the country continues to be governed; if a government that had been voted out refused to step down, the governor-general could be expected to step in.

6

5 Reserve Powers

The reserve powers include the power to appoint a new government after an election,

the power to appoint a prime minister if an election has resulted in a hung parliament,

the power to dismiss a prime minister who has lost the confidence of the parliament or who is acting unlawfully,

the power to dissolve or refuse to dissolve the House of Representatives despite a request from the prime minister,

the power to appoint or dismiss ministers.

7

Delegated legislation

The governor-general (or governor of each state) is responsible for making delegated legislation, while acting in council with relevant ministers as the executive council. Delegated legislation is the rules and regulations made by government bodies such as government departments, the executive council or statutory authorities; for example, VicRoads. Some Acts, such as the Road Safety Act 1986 (Vic.), give the executive council the power to make rules and regulations relating to their relevant area, such as road safety.

8

Royal Assent

Royal assent is the signing of a proposed law by the governor-general. It is necessary before an Act of parliament can become law. Royal assent is normally given as a matter of course on the advice of the prime minister or ministers.

9

Withholding royal assent

At a federal level, the governor-general has the power under the Constitution to withhold royal assent in certain circumstances.
At a state level, the governor of each state does not have the power to withhold royal assent. This power was removed at a state level when the Australia Act 1986 (Cth) was passed.

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7 Roles of the crown

Act as a head of state
Royal assent
Appoint the sitting times of parliament
To bring to an end a session of parliament
To dissolve the parliament and bring about an election
Appointing judges to the courts
Exercising reserve powers

11

Explain the role of the crown in the Australian Parliamentary System

The crown has an important role in the Australian Parliamentary System, the crown is represented by the Governor General at federal level and the Governor at state level. The Governor General have the role of giving or withholding royal assent. Royal assent is the signing of a proposed law by the governor-general. It is necessary before an Act of parliament can become law. Royal assent is normally given as a matter of course on the advice of the prime minister or ministers. They also appoint the sitting times of parliament, bring to an end a session of parliament, dissolve the parliament and bring about an election if necessary, appoint judges to the courts and exercise reserve powers if necessary.

12

To what extent do you think royal assent is an automatic process.

Royal Assent is very much an automatic process and a formality as the governor-general acts on the advice of the prime minister and senior ministers, and the executive power is carried out by the government. This is especially true as the governor-general is appointed by the Queen on the advice of the prime minister.

13

Explain the reserve powers of the governor-general and the governors of each state. Do you think these reserve powers are important to the running of our democratic system? Explain

The reserve powers include the power to appoint a new government after an election, the power to appoint a prime minister if an election has resulted in a hung parliament, the power to dismiss a prime minister who has lost the confidence of the parliament or who is acting unlawfully, the power to dissolve or refuse to dissolve the House of Representatives despite a request from the prime minister, and the power to appoint or dismiss ministers.

These reserve powers are important to the running of our parliamentary system as one of roles of the Governor General is to ensure that the country continues to be governed to a high degree and the democratic system is run effectively. For example If a government that had been voted out refused to step down, the governor-general could be expected to step in by exercising the power to dismiss ministers and/or dissolving the House of Representatives

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