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The Governor of a State.

The loss of executive powers by the Governor of a Colony, on its becoming a State, will be sufficiently apparent by a consideration of the executive departments passing to the Commonwealth Government. But the transference of the departments of Naval and Military Defence (section 69), the provision in section 114 that “a State shall not, without the consent of The Parliament of the Commonwealth, raise or maintain any naval or military force,” and the vesting of the command-in-chief of the naval and military forces of the Commonwealth (section 68) and of the Crown in the Governor-General, deprive the Governor of one of his titles. The old Letters Patent and Commissions constituted and appointed respectively a “Governor and Commander-in-Chief in and over the Colony of … and its Dependencies.” New Letters Patent and Commissions were issued for the States on the establishment of the


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Commonwealth, and they constituted and appointed respectively a “Governor of the State of … and its Dependencies, in the Commonwealth of Australia.”note It is surmised that the Governor of a State is still Vice-Admiral.note For the rest, the prerogative instruments, affecting the office of Governor of a State, are substantially the same as those relating to the office of a Colonial Governor. The grant of the pardoning power to the State Governors recognizes the distinction between offences against State laws and offences against Commonwealth laws, and seeks to avoid all danger of conflict. The Letters Patent (clause ix.) provide, that when any crime or offence has been committed within the State against the laws of the State, or for which the offender may be tried therein, the Governor may pardon an informer who has been an accomplice or one of the offenders, and further may grant to any offender convicted in any Court of the State, or before any Judge or Magistrate of the State, within the State, a pardon, etc. It is clear, therefore, that, as to convicted offenders, the power extends only to convictions in the Courts of the State, and does not apply to convictions in Commonwealth Courts, or (semble) an Imperial Court like the Court of Vice-Admiralty. In construing the clause, it would appear that “within the State” governs “against the laws of the State” only, and that the expression “or for which the offender may be tried therein” refers to offences, which are recognizable by the Courts of the State though committed outside the State. If this were not so, and the words “within the State” applied to both classes of offences referred to, the Governor of a State would have power to pardon informers and persons convicted in State Courts for offences against Commonwealth laws; and there would thus be produced the very conflict of authority which ought to be avoided.




  ― 290 ―
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