Responsible Government and the Divisibility of the Crown

Anne Twomey; “Responsible Government and the Divisibility of the Crown

This article addresses the misconceptions and misunderstandings that surround the meaning of references to “the Crown”. It focuses on the divisibility of the Crown and the criteria for the creation of a new Crown in self-governing colonies, dependencies and independent Commonwealth nations. It places the Crown within the context of responsible government, identifying the capacity in which the Queen acts by reference to the source of ministerial advice to the Queen and to whom those Ministers are responsible. It criticises the House of Lords’ analysis of the divisibility of the Crown in the Quark Fishing case with respect to British Overseas Territories and discusses the ramification of such reasoning for other polities, such as Scotland.

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