The unrecognised reserve powers

Anne Twomey; “The unrecognised reserve powers

“In Australia, the scope of the reserve powers has been largely discerned from the
examples of their exercise. Much time has been spent raking over the ashes of the
experiences of the Lang dismissal in 1932 and the Whitlam dismissal in 1975, with more
limited attention being paid to the reserve powers to appoint a Prime Minister or to refuse
a dissolution. Reference is sometimes made to the extremely limited exercise of the
reserve powers in the United Kingdom and occasionally to Canada, but that is all. Most
commentators would deny that there are any other reserve powers beyond those three
classic powers and see as mischievous, or even dangerous, any suggestion that there
might be other circumstances in which a vice-regal officer could exercise power without
advice, or contrary to advice, or refuse to exercise a power as advised.”

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