Advice to Vice-Regal Officers by Crown Law Officers and Others

Public Law Review, Vol. 26, No. 3, pp. 193-216, 2015

Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 16/14

31 Pages Posted: 11 Feb 2016

See all articles by Anne Twomey

Anne Twomey

The University of Sydney Law School

Date Written: 2015

Abstract

In countries such as the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada and New Zealand, the monarch or her vice-regal representative is formally advised by responsible Ministers. Difficulties may arise, however, when those Ministers cease to be responsible or advise actions that may be illegal or unconstitutional. In such circumstances, the Queen or Governor-General may need access to legal advice or advice about constitutional conventions and principles. This article addresses the distinction between formal and informal advice to vice-regal officers and the issues that arise when such advice is given by the Attorney-General, the Solicitor-General and legal or political experts. These include whether a Solicitor-General (in countries where he or she is a legal officer - not a member of the Government) should be confined to giving legal advice, rather than policy advice, and whether the Solicitor-General must advise the government of the nature of the advice or even that it has been requested and given.

Keywords: Crown, advice to Queen, advice to Governor-General, reserve powers, prerogative powers, role of Attorney-General, role of Solicitor-General, legality, advice by academics, executive power, constitutional validity, justiciability, rule of law, separation of powers, responsible government

JEL Classification: K10, K30

Suggested Citation

Twomey, Anne, Advice to Vice-Regal Officers by Crown Law Officers and Others (2015). Public Law Review, Vol. 26, No. 3, pp. 193-216, 2015; Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 16/14. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2730356

Anne Twomey (Contact Author)

The University of Sydney Law School ( email )

New Law Building, F10
The University of Sydney
Sydney, NSW 2006
Australia

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