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The Exercise of Reserve Powers in Victoria from 1912-1955

Australian Bar Review, Vol. 39, No. 2, pp. 198-214, 2014

Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 16/15

19 Pages Posted: 11 Feb 2016  

Anne Twomey

The University of Sydney Law School

Date Written: 2014

Abstract

The reserve powers of the monarch or his or her vice-regal representatives are rarely exercised. When they are exercised and the political players loudly object and dispute the legitimacy of their use, they become notorious parts of political history, etched on the public psyche, such as the King/Byng affair in Canada in 1926 and the dismissal of the Whitlam Government in Australia in 1975. In contrast, when the political players choose instead to accept what has happened and move on, the events become lost in history and their lessons ignored. This paper explores the rich history of the exercise of the reserve powers in the Australian State of Victoria from 1912-1955 and ponders how the players and the public in 1975 might have behaved differently if they had had a better understanding of this neglected constitutional history.

Keywords: Crown, reserve powers, prerogative powers, Governor, dismissal of government, refusal of dissolution, minority government, blocking supply, advice by judges, coalition government, constitutional history

JEL Classification: K10, K30

Suggested Citation

Twomey, Anne, The Exercise of Reserve Powers in Victoria from 1912-1955 (2014). Australian Bar Review, Vol. 39, No. 2, pp. 198-214, 2014; Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 16/15. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2730396

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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