Royal Succession and the Canadian Crown as a Corporation Sole: A Critique of Canada’s Succession to the Throne Act, 2013

Constitutional Forum 23, No. 1 (April 2014): 17-26

10 Pages Posted: 9 Apr 2014

See all articles by Philippe Lagassé

Philippe Lagassé

University of Ottawa - Graduate School of Public and International Affairs

James Bowden

Parks Canada; Carleton University

Date Written: April 4, 2014

Abstract

The Crown of Canada is a sui generis, non-statutory corporation sole. A corporation sole by definition refers to one person and his successors incorporated into a particular office. However, this corporation sole, and one legal person, contains two "capacities", the office in its corporate capacity and the office-holder in his individual or natural capacity. The office and office-holder are inseparably fused in law into the corporation sole, even though the two capacities remain distinct.

The mixture of statutory and common-law rules governing the succession to the Canadian Crown therefore by definition pertain to "the office of the Queen" under section 41(a) of the Constitution Act, 1982, since a the Crown is a corporation sole and since a corporation sole includes the successors to the office in order to ensure a perpetual legal personality.

The Succession to the Throne Act, 2013, which "assented to" the British Succession to the Crown Act, 2013, did "not" alter the rules governing succession to the Canadian Crown.

Keywords: Corporation sole, Crown, succession

Suggested Citation

Lagassé, Philippe and Bowden, James, Royal Succession and the Canadian Crown as a Corporation Sole: A Critique of Canada’s Succession to the Throne Act, 2013 (April 4, 2014). Constitutional Forum 23, No. 1 (April 2014): 17-26, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2420632

Philippe Lagassé

University of Ottawa - Graduate School of Public and International Affairs ( email )

75 Laurier Avenue East
Ottawa, Ontario K1N 6N5
Canada

James Bowden (Contact Author)

Parks Canada ( email )

Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0G5
Canada
819-420-9237 (Phone)

Carleton University ( email )

Ottawa, Ontario
Canada
613-878-8684 (Phone)

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