The Crown as Corporation (1901)

Frederic Maitland; “The Crown as Corporation” (1901)

In Re Stepney Election Petition; Isaacson v Durant (1886) 17 QBD 54, it was held that allegiance was owed not to the monarch in his or her personal capacity, but rather to the Crown as a body politic. (See Anne Twomey; The Constitution of New South Wales, page 386, Singh v Commonwealth of Australia [2004] HCA 43) As stated in Sue v Hill [1999] HCA 30 (at 83): “The writings of constitutional lawyers at the time show that it was well understood in 1900, at the time of the adoption of the Constitution, that the term “the Crown” was used in several metaphorical senses. “We all know”, Lord Penzance had said in 1876, “that the Crown is an abstraction”, and Maitland, Harrison Moore, Inglis Clark and Pitt Cobbett, amongst many distinguished constitutional lawyers, took up the point.” The following article was written by Frederic Maitland at the time.

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