The Constitutional Validity of State Chief Justices Acting as Governor
(2014) 25 Public Law Review 197 150-154.
Posted: 22 Oct 2018
Date Written: October 19, 2018
In the Australian States, a long tradition continues of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court serving as acting Governor, either through formal appointment as Lieutenant-Governor or by statutory mandate as Administrator.This article examines the validity of the Chief Justice undertaking vice-regal functions as acting Governor in light of the Kable incompatibility principle. The history of, and objections to, this practice are outlined, before two potential justiﬁcations are examined: conferral under the persona designata doctrine, and a novel and untested argument arising from the history of the practice and s 106 of the Australian Constitution. It is argued that such appointments can be justiﬁed only in limited circumstances under the persona designata doctrine, and that the more extensive appointments which exist in the majority of Australian States at present are invalid.
Keywords: constitutional validity, State Chief Justice, Governor, Kable incompatibility principle
JEL Classification: K10, K19
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation