Court judgments (such as leading case of
Johnson v Johnson (2000) 201 CLR 488
) which are of universalapplication across all the arms and up and down all of the tiers of government, the judiciary the executive (theMinisters and public service agencies) and the parliaments. On this mistaken view of a non-ceremonial role for the Crown), these apprehended bias principles would apply to the Monarch and Her representative as well(since they too are bound to comply with our Constitution).Ordinarily, a government officer, if he or she is morally, ethically and legally correct in the circumstances, whenfacing a situation of “
” apprehended bias, would step down from exercising anygovernmental powers in those circumstances. On this (mistaken) view of a functional, non-ceremonial role for the Monarchy in Australia's system of government, the Governor-General could not simply step aside from thetask at hand as no other equivalent officer would be there to come forward to exercise those governmentalfunctions. On this mistaken view that Australia has a functional governmental role for the Monarchy (a view thatformer Governor-General Sir John Kerr sensationally acted on) it might be suggested that Queen Elizabeth theSecond might step in and exercise regal functions directly in her capacity as reigning Queen of Australia. Ibelieve that this will never happen and would give rise to all sorts of disastrous consequences for the BritishMonarchy, in Britain and in Australia (see below). The absurdity of the suggestion of direct Royal intervention inthe affairs of the Australian Parliament puts pay to the absurdity of the suggestions that the Governor-General,or the Monarchy more broadly might have a functional role to play in Australia's federal government processes.
Opinion 2: Why does the Australian Monarchy, the British Queen's Governor-General play a purelyceremonial role in Australian Politics, according to the Australian Constitution?
Complex issues arise under Australia's written and unwritten constitutional laws, under international law, under divine law (We don't say “God Bless the Queen” as a panacea against the common cold), and under basicprinciples of natural justice. These complex issues and conflicts have nothing to do with the final outcome of the21 August 2010 election. They are structural deficiencies that were planted in our constitutional framework rightback at the end of the 19
Century, at the birth of Australian Federation.None of these issues arise so long as the Australian Monarchy, including our Governor-General recognise itspurely ceremonial role in Australia's constitutional democratic government processes.My opinion is that the [British/ Australian] Crown has no constitutional power to interrupt and therefore shouldnot interfere in the will of the Australian people, as reflected in the ballot outcomes from the 21 August 2010House of Representatives General Election and Senate half election.In times of constitutional crisis (which arise almost daily for me, given my line of work), I always refer back atsome point to our greatest constitutional scholar, E.G. Whitlam. 99 not out last month, Gough first distinguishedhimself in 1957 when he delivered the Chifley Memorial Lecture at the University of Melbourne on “TheConstitution versus Labor.” His work “On Australia's Constitution” is the first and last word on the Australianconstitution and so-called conventions. And his words have only sharpened and not been blunted by thepassing years.On pages 10 and 11 of his self-penned introduction to “On Australia's Constitution”, Gough Whitlam writes in1977 (with the constitutional wounds of 11 November 1975 still fresh):“That brings me to the question of the monarchy itself. I have, as I think is well known, thegreatest admiration for the Queen; her present style and title of Queen of Australia wereadopted at my instigation. It is certainly no reflection on her ability, her record or her personality to point out that the actions of the Australian conservatives have made the positionof the monarchy in Australia untenable. Indeed it has been because the Queen's own conducthas been above reproach that the machinations of her current representative in Australia, and
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