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Union under the Crown.

The recital in the preamble is no mere expression of loyalty, but is a statement of fact to which the most important legal incidents attach. The Crown establishes the Commonwealth, is a part of the Federal Parliament, is the depositary of the executive power of the Commonwealth, and retains the power (subject to limitations to be considered) of entertaining appeals in Council. So much is provided in the Act itself; but the Act does not exhaust the relations of the Crown to the Commonwealth. The prerogative runs there as in other dominions of the Crown; and in analogy to the practice whereby in the United Kingdom the prerogative secures the people against an abuse of power by the instruments of government, so in the colonies the prerogative is no reservation of personal enjoyment or profit to the Crown, nor even to any great extent of power to the Imperial Government, but is an instrument for increasing and effectuating the powers of self-government. While the paramount power of the Imperial Parliament emphasizes the dependent condition of the colonies, the unity of the Empire is manifested in the omnipresence and indivisibility of the Crown. Save in the rare cases in which, for the purpose of suit in their own Courts, colonies have made an exception by statute, the Colonial Governments, like the Government of the United Kingdom, have no corporate existence save in the Crown.note For this reason, the governments of the colonies, though not sovereign, have in all parts of the Empire that immunity from suit which belongs to the Crown. A claim by the Crown in right of any part of its Dominions can be prosecuted, not merely in that part of the Empire which is immediately concerned, but in any Court which, according to ordinary principles, has jurisdiction of the cause; and the adjustment of interests as between the different parts of the Empire is in


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general not a matter for the consideration of the Court.note The indivisibility of the Crown is peculiarly manifested by the position of the Attorney General. The Crown appears in Court in any part of the British Dominions by the law officer for that part; and it is immaterial that the particular interest involved is imperial, local, or touches some other part of the dominions of the Crown. The Attorney General for a colony, like the Attorney General for England, represents the Crown and holds office under the Crown. In 1879 the House of Commons adopted the report of a Select Committee, supported by past and present Law Officers of the Crown, to the effect that by acceptance of the office of Attorney General for Victoria, Sir Bryan O'Loghlen, member for County Clare, had vacated his seat in the House.note

The establishment of the Commonwealth in no way affects the participation of the Crown in the government of the States; the principles which governed the relations of the colonies to the Crown will govern them as States. Notwithstanding the emphatic declaration of the Constitution (section 2), that the “Governor-General appointed by the Queen shall be Her Majesty's representative in the Commonwealth,” the Crown is represented in the States Governments by the State Governor, or other administrator of the Government. Even in Canada the existence of the Dominion Government does not sever the connexion between the Crown and the provinces so as to make the government of the Dominion the only government of the Queen in North America, and reduce the provincial governments to the rank of municipal institutions; the several provincial governments remain as Governments of the Queen within the limits prescribed by the British North America Act, 1867.note

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