The Governor General & The '1975 Crisis'

Powers of the Governor General

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Express Powers
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Definition: 


  • Constitutional powers of the Governor General that by convention are exercised on by parliament on behalf of the Governor General. This is where the General has no personal discretion. 


Examples: 


  • Choosing and appointing Cabinet Ministers. By convention this is exercised by the Prime Minister who choses Ministers to different portfolios and the Governor General, as a sort of rubber stamp, approves them. 

  • Altough the Constitution vests command of military forces in the Governor General as the Queen's representative, in practice, this is mainly exercised by the Federal Executive Council and the Australian parliament.

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Reserve Powers
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Definition:


  • Constitutional powers of the Governor General and may be used on their own accord during times of crisis.  


Examples: 


  • Power to refuse to desolve the House of Representatives despite a  request from the Prime Minister; 

  • Power to deny Royal Assent upon bills passed by parliament, effectively stopping their passage; and, 

  • Power to remove a sitting Prime Minster by usage of Section 64 of the Commonwealth Constitution.

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Roles of the Governor General
Powers of the Governor General
The '1975 Crisis'
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