Australian Republic Constitution
Australian Flag News Get Involved! Events Resources
Main Menu
ACM Home
About ACM
ACM News
Anthems
Afghan Court Martial
Book Reviews
The Commonwealth
Contact ACM
Convenor's Column
Constitutional Monarchies and Republics Compared
Constitutional Monarchy in the Muslim World
Cost of Republicanism to the Taxpayer
Crowned Republic
Diamond Jubilee 2012
Event News
Federalism and the Mining Tax
Fiji
Flag: Keep The Flag
Governor of New South Wales
Head of State
Keating-Turnbull Republic: The Nineties
Knights & Dames
Latest News and Opinions
Links
Mate for a Head of State
Media and monarchy
Nile Inquiry
Opinion Polling
Orthodoxy and Monarchy
People's Republic?
Plebiscites
Prince Andrew
Prince Charles
Prince Harry
Prince Philip
Prince William & Catherine
Prince William In Australia
Prince William: The Early Years
Racist Republic?
Reserve Powers of the Crown
Resources
Return the Governor
Royal Commissions
Royal Finances
Self Funded Monarchy
Royal Yacht Britannia
The Succession
2020 Summit
Join our Mailing List
See our selection of videos from across the world:-
ACM Videos
AussieCrownTV - ACM's own TV channel:
Aussie Crown TV
Follow ACM on Facebook:
Facebook
Self Funded Monarchy
Self Funded Monarchy
Royal Finances
Royal Finances
Diamond Jubilee 2012
Diamond Jubilee 2012
Head of State
Prince Philip
Prince Philip
Special Caribbean Report: Crown & Commonwealth

      Crown

The Commonwealth
The Commonwealth
Prince Harry
Prince Harry
Prince Andrew
Prince Andrew
Knights & Dames
Knights & Dames
The King's Speech: read the book, see the film.

The King's Speech

Watch the 2010 Neville Bonner Oration: Tony Abbott.
Tony Abbott
Nile Inquiry
Royal Commissions
Royal Commissions
Opinion Polls

 

Plebiscites
Plebiscites
2020 Summit
2020 Summit
Orthodoxy & Monarchy
Orthodoxy & Monarchy
Afghan Court Martial
Constitutional Monarchy in the Muslim World
Constitutional Monarchy in the Muslim World
Mate for a Head of State
Mate for a Head of State
Racist Republic?
Racist Republic
A People's Republic?
A People's republic?
Keating Turnbull Republic: The Nineties
The Keating Turnbull Republic
Crowned Republic
Crowned Republic
Polls
Republicans' Best Asset?
Is David Flint ( National Convenor since 1998) the republicans best asset, as some claim?
ACM Home arrow Head of State arrow Change for the sake of change

Change for the sake of change Print E-mail
Written by Professor David Flint AM   
Sunday, 26 February 2012

ImageThis is a report in the section, Head of State, on the ACM site.


Removing the Australian Crown is one of the most significant changes we could make to our constitutional system. And the only justifiable reason to change the constiution is to improve it.


Image
[ Sir John Quick ]

The Crown is our oldest institution.  It was involved in every significant step in our development from the foundation to self government, to federation and to full independence.
The Crown remains a crucial part of the system.



...obscure, legalistic and irrelevant...



Why then seek to justify its removal by relying on obscure legal arguments?  A recent letter published in one of Australia's higher circulating newspapers, the Sun Herald, began by reprimanding another letter writer ( “Sorry x...”  ). It argued that The Queen and not the Governor-General was head of state. The Governor-General, it claimed, was merely a delegate of The Queen, performing her job when she is not physically present.


A typical republican position - obscure, legalistic and irrelevant.

The determination of these questions requires the application of constitutional and international law. 

The term head of state is diplomatic. Whether it is an appropriate description under the consttiution was surely settled by a full bench of founding fathers who in 1907, in a unanimous opinion, observed that the Governor-General is the“Constitutional Head of the Commonwealth.” 

As to the second question,it is now established beyond doubt that the Governor- General's powers come - unusually - from the Constitution and not by delegation. So much so the imperial practice of issuing Royal Instructions was long ago abandoned. 
 
But why the answer to either question is reason to change our constitutional system is certainly not obvious.  Surely the only reason to change our constitutional system is to improve it. 

Our great founders, Sir John Quick and Sir Robert Garren, explained the requirements for constitutional change as ensuring that there would be proper debate and discussion and that no change would be made until the people are agreed  that the change is "desirable, irresistible, and inevitable.”

Why then should the answer to two legal questions of little  interest or concern to the average Australian be reason to make fundamental changes to the constitution? 

Australians are far too sensible to make change merely on the answer to these two questions, or indeed, in agreeing to some blank cheque plebiscite. 

They know the only justifiable reason to change the constiution is to improve it.


 
...answer needed...

     

To return to the letter in the newspaper, an answer was clearly needed. So the Sun Herald published the following reply on 26 February 2011:

Dear editor,

Sorry, James Prior (letters February 19). Under international law, there is no doubt at all that the Governor-General is head of state - a diplomatic term. Nor does The Queen delegate her job - the Governor-General's authority comes directly from the Constitution

David Flint

The point iremains – surely we should only change our constitutional system to improve it. To change it for the sake of change – or because a small minority detest an ancient institution - is just not enough.

 
< Prev   Next >
ROYAL VISIT 2014

Image

The Book Depository
Image
Image
Prince William: The Early Years
Prince Charles

Prince Charles

Constitutional Monarchies & Republics Compared

Image


Defend the Constitution and Flag
Australian Election Watch

10th Anniversary Neville Bonner Oration

11th Anniversary and Appeal

Crowned Republic 

   Keep The Australian Flag
Return the Governor to Government House
The Succession
The Succession
The Governor of New South Wales
Governor of New South Wales
Fiji
Fijian soldier
Media and Monarchy
Media and Monarchy
Royal Yacht Britannia
Royal Yacht Britannia
Republic Audit: Costs of Republic
Republic Audit: Costs of Republic
Reserve Powers of the Crown
Events
November 2017 December 2017
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
Week 44 1 2 3 4
Week 45 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
Week 46 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
Week 47 19 20 21 22 23 24 25
Week 48 26 27 28 29 30