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§ 273. “Vested in the Queen.”

The Federal Executive power granted by this Constitution is vested in the Queen. This statement stereotypes the theory of the British Constitution that the Crown is the source and fountain of Executive authority, and that every administrative act must be done by and in the name of the Crown.

“We are at the present day so accustomed to think and to speak of the Government of Sir Robert Peel or Lord Russell, of Lord Derby or Lord Palmerston, that we almost overlook the Royal Personage whom these Statesmen serve. We forget the Queen for the Minister. The means, as so often happens, obscure the end; the object limited is lost in the limitation. Yet whatever may be our mode of speech, any such indistinctness of thought will effectually exclude all clear views of the Constitution. In our political system the Crown always has been and still is the sun.” (Hearn's Gov. of Eng. p. 16.)

“They derive everything from the Crown, and refer everything to its honour and advantage. Nor is this less true of the modern form of our Constitution than it was of an age when the prerogative was exercised chiefly for the King's personal benefit. The lustre of the triple crown of the United Kingdom is not less brilliant than the lustre of that single crown of England which rested on the brows of our Henries and our Edwards. With us no less than with all our ancestors, ever since England was a nation, the Crown enacts laws; the Crown administers justice; the Crown makes peace and war and conducts all the affairs of State at home and abroad; the Crown rewards them that have done well, and punishes the evil doers; the Crown still enjoys the other splendid prerogatives which have at all times graced the diadem of England.” (Id. p. 17.)

In our analysis of sec. 1 of this Constitution we have seen that the dictum that “the Crown still enacts the law,” is not strictly applicable to the legislative department of the Federal Government, seeing that by that section the legislative power is vested in a Federal Parliament, in which the Senate and the House of Representatives are co-ordinate branches with the Queen. The old theory of legislation has been encroached upon, to some extent, by that section. The dictum that “the Crown conducts all the affairs of State,” is still true in theory, and has been followed and maintained in form, by sec. 61, which says that the executive power of the Federal Government is vested in the Queen.

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