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ACM – Succession changes – everything you wanted to know

Succession changes – everything you wanted to know
Written by ACM

…Statute of Westminster…

To prevent each Dominion from creating its own rule of succession and thereby ‘bifurcating’ the personage of British crown, two safeguards were enacted.

First, Section 4 of the Statute gave the British Parliament power to legislate for the Dominions with their consent.

Secondly, the Preamble to the Statute stated that any alteration to the succession would have to be agreed by the legislatures of all the Dominions and the UK, granting each of the Dominions an effective veto over changes to the royal succession.The Statute of Westminster, argued Professor Twomey, remained the source of much confusion surrounding the question of the succession and the realms.

However, much had changed within the Commonwealth since the Statute was passed by Parliament. Nowhere, now, did Section 4 still apply…

…Australia and Canada…

However, Australia and Canada – both federal states – presented more worrying obstacles. For a start, there was the question of precisely how many crowns existed in Australia. Professor Twomey suggested that since all of the state premiers could consult the sovereign directly, there could theoretically be a crown for each state, adding a new layer of complexity to the situation…

via No Republic! Australians for Constitutional Monarchy – Succession changes – everything you wanted to know.

If one of the Commonwealth Realms had decided that it wanted to enable the “bifurcation” of the personage for their particular Crown(s) so that their Crown(s) were to become democratic, and if that nation was to prove this to the world through the overwhelming success of a referendum stating that this was indeed the wish of its population – by what right would the other Commonwealth realms exercise a veto of a fellow Commonwealth realm nation’s wish for self-determination and wish to enable its own full sovereignty with a democratically elected citizen as their head of state?

The agreement between the Commonwealth realms to consult on changes to the rules for succession is not in effect a right to veto. It is an agreement to consult. It was an agreement between gentlemen: not a power to veto. The purpose of the Act was to establish an equality among the major nations of the Commonwealth including Australia, New Zealand and Canada:

…And whereas it is meet and proper to set out by way of preamble to this Act that, inasmuch as the Crown is the symbol of the free association of the members of the British Commonwealth of Nations, and as they are united by a common allegiance to the Crown, it would be in accord with the established constitutional position of all the members of the Commonwealth in relation to one another that any alteration in the law touching the Succession to the Throne or the Royal Style and Titles shall hereafter require the assent as well of the Parliaments of all the Dominions as of the Parliament of the United Kingdom…

Statute of Westminster 1931

Posted in Australian Republic.

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