|The Crown of Commonwealth realms and dominions|
The Crown is the state in all its aspects within the jurisprudence of the Commonwealth realms and their sub-divisions (such as Crown dependencies, provinces, or states).Legally ill-defined, the term has different meanings depending on context. It is used to designate the monarch in either a personal capacity, as Head of the Commonwealth, or as the king or queen of his or her realms. It can also refer to the rule of law; however, in common parlance 'The Crown' refers to the functions of government and the civil service.
A corporation sole, the Crown is the legal embodiment of executive, legislative, and judicial governance in the monarchy of each country. These monarchies are united by the personal union of their monarch, but they are independent states. The concept of the Crown developed first in England as a separation of the literal crown and property of the kingdom from the person and personal property of the monarch. It spread through English and later British colonisation and is now rooted in the legal lexicon of the United Kingdom, its Crown dependencies, and the other 15 independent realms. It is not to be confused with any physical crown, such as those of the British regalia.
The term is also found in various expressions such as "Crown land", which some countries refer to as "public land" or "state land"; as well as in some offices, such as minister of the Crown, Crown attorney, and Crown prosecutor.
The concept of the Crown took form under the feudal system.Though not used this way in all countries that had this system, in England, all rights and privileges were ultimately bestowed by the ruler. Land, for instance, was granted by the Crown to lords in exchange for feudal services and they, in turn, granted the land to lesser lords. One exception to this was common socage—owners of land held as socage held it subject only to the Crown. When such lands become owner-less they are said to escheat; i.e., return to direct ownership of the Crown (Crown lands). Bona vacantia is the royal prerogative by which unowned property (primarily unclaimed inheritances) become the property of the Crown (except in Cornwall, where it becomes the property of the Duke of Cornwall or Lancashire where it becomes the property of the Duke of Lancaster).
The monarch is the living embodiment of the Crown and, ... [t]he office cannot exist without the office-holder". }} The terms the state, the Crown, the Crown in Right of [jurisdiction], Her Majesty the Queen in Right of [jurisdiction], and similar are all synonymous and the monarch's legal personality is sometimes referred to simply as the relevant jurisdiction's name. (In countries using systems of government derived from Roman civil law, the State is the equivalent concept to the Crown. )as such, is regarded as the personification of the state. The body of the reigning sovereign thus holds two distinct personas in constant coexistence: that of a natural-born human being and that of the state as accorded to him or her through law; the Crown and the monarch are "conceptually divisible but legally indivisible
As such, the king or queen is the employer of all government officials and staff (including the viceroys, judges, members of the armed forces, police officers, and parliamentarians),the guardian of foster children ( Crown wards ), as well as the owner of all state lands ( Crown land ), buildings and equipment (Crown held property), state owned companies ( Crown corporations ), and the copyright for government publications ( Crown copyright ). This is all in his or her position as sovereign, and not as an individual; all such property is held by the Crown in perpetuity and cannot be sold by the sovereign without the proper advice and consent of his or her relevant ministers.
The Crown also represents the legal embodiment of executive, legislative, and judicial governance. While the Crown's legal personality is usually regarded as a corporation sole,it can, at least for some purposes, be described as a corporation aggregate headed by the monarch.
Whilst the Crown frequently refers to the monarch, this reference is to the monarch in his or her capacity as monarch, and does not refer to that individual in his or her totality of ownership interests and actions. The monarch can act in an official capacity (as the Crown) and in a private capacity. This duality of characterisation can be illustrated in several ways. In property ownership for example, although both are royal residences, Buckingham Palace is the property of the Crown via the Crown Estate (an organ of government) whilst Balmoral Castle is the property of Elizabeth II personally, and not of the Crown. The latter property can be freely alienated by the Queen, whereas any disposition of the former property would need to be done via instrument of government as an act of state. Similarly, the Queen's bank accounts at Coutts (a private entity, albeit whose parent entity, Royal Bank of Scotland, is coincidentally majority-owned by the state as a result of a bail-out of the bank during the financial crisis of 2007–2008) contain components of her private wealth only, whilst the resources of the monarch acting as the Crown are dispensed from HM Treasury and the Crown Estate to the Royal Household. A third example is in employment relationships; Elizabeth II can use her private resources to employ persons to run her private affairs (even if in practice it is likely that her private enterprises such as the Balmoral and Sandringham estates are structured as companies, which as entities with separate legal personality in Scots and English law would be the true hirer of an employee, which makes this unlikely in practice). However those who assist as employees of the monarch as the Crown (e.g. the staff at Buckingham Palace) do so on employment from the Royal Household, the official department charged with supporting the monarch. Those who are directly appointed to official positions by the monarch (commissions in the Army, judges of the courts of England and Wales, governors of Canadian provinces to take discrete examples) form a third category, where the Crown as monarch begins to blend into the Crown as state. Strictly speaking, government officials are for the service of the monarch acting officially, whilst she might hire private advocates to pursue actions in her private life. Thus the monarch's main lawyer as to English law is the government's lawyer, the Attorney General, but in her private capacity she instructs Farrer & Co, an independent law firm.
Note that whilst there is a distinction between the monarch's two capacities, official and private, there is an exception to this rule, where there is unity of capacities; this being the style and form of address of the monarch. As described in MacCormick v Lord Advocate , amongst the royal prerogatives is the right and authority of the monarch to style themselves, and command others to so style them, with such combination of name and regnal number as they wish (thus Albert, Duke of York designated himself George VI on his accession to the throne). Accompanying this style is the form of address of the monarch. This varies across commonwealth realms, but in all is the monarch addressed as "Your Majesty". This royal prerogative, and the various Letters Patent which buttress it, derive entirely from the monarch acting or existing in an official capacity. However it is also transcribed over into the monarch's private sphere as well: Elizabeth II is never correctly referred to as Elizabeth Windsor in any capacity.
The Crown, when referencing the monarch as opposed to the state, can only refer to the monarch alone. It does not refer to any other member of the Royal Family, though such royals typically represent the Crown in engagements, and hold (usually ceremonial) Crown positions. In this manner they are agents and servants of the Crown in similar manner to ministers, judges, soldiers, and civil servants.
Historically, the Crown was considered to be indivisible. Two judgments—Ex parte Indian Association of Alberta (EWCA, 1982) and Ex parte Quark (House of Lords, 2005)—challenged that view. Today, the Crown is considered separate in every country, province, state, or territory, regardless of its degree of independence, that has the shared monarch as part of the local government, though limitations on the power of the monarch in right of each territory vary according to relevant laws, thus making the difference between full sovereignty, semi-sovereignty, dependency, etc. The Lords of Appeal wrote: "The Queen is as much the Queen of New South Wales and Mauritius and other territories acknowledging her as head of state as she is of England and Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland or the United Kingdom."
The Crown in each of the Commonwealth realms is a similar, but separate, legal concept. To distinguish the institution's role in one jurisdiction from its place in another, Commonwealth law employs the expression the Crown in right of [place]; for example, the Crown in right of the United Kingdom,the Crown in right of Canada, the Crown in right of the Commonwealth of Australia, etc. Because both Canada and Australia are federations, there are also crowns in right of each Canadian province and each Australian state.
The Crown's powers are exercised either by the monarch personally or by his or her representative in each jurisdiction, on the advice of the appropriate local ministers, legislature, or judges, none of which may advise the Crown on any matter pertinent to another of the Crown's jurisdictions.
In Jersey, statements by the Law Officers of the Crown define the Crown's operation in that jurisdiction as the Crown in right of Jersey,with all Crown land in the Bailiwick of Jersey belonging to the Crown in right of Jersey and not to the Crown Estate of the United Kingdom. The Succession to the Crown (Jersey) Law 2013 defined the Crown, for the purposes of implementing the Perth Agreement in Jersey law, as the Crown in right of the Bailiwick of Jersey.
Legislation in the Isle of Man also defines the Crown in right of the Isle of Man as being separate from the Crown in right of the United Kingdom.
In Guernsey, legislation refers to the Crown in right of the Bailiwick,and the Law Officers of the Crown of Guernsey submitted that "[t]he Crown in this context ordinarily means the Crown in right of the république of the Bailiwick of Guernsey" and that this comprises "the collective governmental and civic institutions, established by and under the authority of the Monarch, for the governance of these Islands, including the States of Guernsey and legislatures in the other Islands, the Royal Court and other courts, the Lieutenant Governor, Parish authorities, and the Crown acting in and through the Privy Council". This constitutional concept is also worded as the Crown in right of the Bailiwick of Guernsey.
Following the Lords' decision in Ex parte Quark, 2005, it is held that the Queen in exercising her authority over British Overseas Territories does not act on the advice of the government of the UK, but in her role as Queen of each territory, with the exception of fulfilling the UK's international responsibilities for its territories. The reserve powers of the Crown for each territory are no longer considered to be exercisable on the advice of the UK government. To comply with the court's decision, the territorial governors now act on the advice of each territory's executive and the UK government can no longer disallow legislation passed by territorial legislatures.
In criminal proceedings, the state is the prosecuting party and is usually designated on the title or name of a case as "R v" – where R can stand for either Rex (if the current monarch is male) or Regina (if the monarch is female) against the defendant; for example, a criminal case against Smith might be referred to as R v Smith, and verbally read as "the Crown against Smith". On the indictment notice, it may state "The Queen - v - Defendant" as well as "R v Defendant".
Often cases are brought by the Crown according to the complaint of a claimant. The titles of these case now follow the pattern of "R (on the application of X) v Y", notated as "R (X) v Y" for short. Thus R (Miller) v Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union is R (on the application of Miller and other) v Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, where "Miller" is Gina Miller, a citizen. Until the end of the twentieth century, such case titles used the pattern R v Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, ex parte Miller.
In Scotland, criminal prosecutions are undertaken by the Lord Advocate (or the relevant Procurator Fiscal) in the name of the Crown. Accordingly, the abbreviation HMA is used in the High Court of Justiciary for "His/Her Majesty's Advocate" in place of Rex or Regina, as in HMA v Al Megrahi and Fahima .
In Australia, each state uses R in the title of criminal cases and The Queen (or The King) in criminal appeal cases (i.e., the case name at trial would be R v Smith; if appealed, the case name would be Smith v The Queen). Judges usually refer to the prosecuting party as simply "the prosecution" in the text of judgments (only rarely is The Crown used in the text, and never R). In civil cases where the Crown is a party, it is a customary to list the appropriate government Minister as the party instead. When a case is announced in court, the Clerk or Bailiff refers to the crown orally as "Our Sovereign Lady the Queen" (or "Our Sovereign Lord the King").
In New Zealand court reporting, news reports will refer to the prosecuting lawyer (often called a Crown prosecutor, as in Canada and the United Kingdom) as representing the Crown, usages such as "For the Crown, Joe Bloggs argued..." being common.
This practice of using the seat of sovereignty as the injured party is analogous with criminal cases in the United States, where the format is "the People" or "the State v. [defendant]" (e.g., People of the State of New York v. LaValle or Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Brady ) under the doctrine of popular sovereignty. In Federal criminal cases, it is "United States v. [defendant]," as in United States v. Nixon .
The Crown can also be a plaintiff or defendant in civil actions to which the government of the Commonwealth realm in question is a party. Such Crown proceedings are often subject to specific rules and limitations, such as the enforcement of judgments against the Crown.
Qui tam lawsuits on behalf of the Crown were once common but have been unusual since the Common Informers Act 1951 ended the practice of allowing such suits by common informers.
The term crown forces has been applied by militant Irish republicans to British-authorised security forces on the island of Ireland, including the British Armed Forces and armed police such as the Royal Ulster Constabulary, which are seen as enemy combatants or an occupation force.Irish nationalist historical narrative may apply crown forces to earlier forces raised by the Dublin Castle administration at intervals since the Tudor conquest of Ireland to suppress various Irish uprisings.
Sunkin and Payne; The Nature of the Crown - A Legal and Political Analysis; Oxford University Press, 1999.
The monarchy of Canada is at the core of Canada's constitutional federal structure and Westminster-style parliamentary democracy. The monarchy is the foundation of the executive (Queen-in-Council), legislative (Queen-in-Parliament), and judicial (Queen-on-the-Bench) branches of both federal and provincial jurisdictions. The sovereign is the personification of the Canadian state and is Queen of Canada as a matter of constitutional law. The current Canadian monarch and head of state is Queen Elizabeth II, who has reigned since 6 February 1952. Elizabeth's eldest son, Charles, Prince of Wales, is heir apparent.
Royal assent is the method by which a monarch formally approves an act of the legislature. In some jurisdictions, royal assent is equivalent to promulgation, while in others that is a separate step. Under a modern constitutional monarchy royal assent is considered to be little more than a formality; even in those nations which still, in theory, permit the Monarch to withhold assent to laws, the Monarch almost never does so, except in a dire political emergency or upon the advice of their government. While the power to veto a law by withholding royal assent was once exercised often by European monarchs, such an occurrence has been very rare since the eighteenth century.
A corporation sole is a legal entity consisting of a single ("sole") incorporated office, occupied by a single ("sole") natural person. A corporation sole is one of two types of corporation, the other being a corporation aggregate. This allows corporations to pass without interval in time from one office holder to the next successor-in-office, giving the positions legal continuity with subsequent office holders having identical powers and possessions to their predecessors.
The title and style of the Canadian sovereign is the formal mode of address of the monarch of Canada. The form is based on those that were inherited from the United Kingdom and France, used in the colonies to refer to the reigning monarch in Europe. As various Canadian territories changed ownership and then the country gradually gained independence, the style and title of the monarchs changed almost as often as the kings and queens themselves. The mode of address currently employed is a combination of a style that originates in the early 17th century and a title established by Canadian law in 1953.
The Crown dependencies are three island territories off the coast of Great Britain that are self-governing possessions of the Crown: the Bailiwick of Guernsey, the Bailiwick of Jersey and the Isle of Man. They do not form part of either the United Kingdom or the British Overseas Territories. Internationally, the dependencies are considered "territories for which the United Kingdom is responsible", rather than sovereign states. As a result, they are not member states of the Commonwealth of Nations. However, they do have relationships with the Commonwealth, the European Union, and other international organisations, and are members of the British–Irish Council. They have their own teams in the Commonwealth Games. They are not part of the European Union (EU), although they are within the EU's customs area. The Isle of Man is within the EU's VAT area.
The Bailiwick of Guernsey is one of three Crown dependencies.
Crown land, also known as royal domain or demesne, is a territorial area belonging to the monarch, who personifies the Crown. It is the equivalent of an entailed estate and passes with the monarchy, being inseparable from it. Today, in Commonwealth realms such as Canada and Australia, crown land is considered public land and is apart from the monarch's private estate.
By the arrangements of the Canadian federation, the Canadian monarchy operates in Saskatchewan as the core of the province's Westminster-style parliamentary democracy; As such, the Crown within Saskatchewan's jurisdiction is referred to as the Crown in Right of Saskatchewan, her Majesty in Right of Saskatchewan, or The Queen in Right of Saskatchewan. The Constitution Act, 1867, however, leaves many royal duties in Saskatchewan specifically assigned to the sovereign's viceroy, the Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan, whose direct participation in governance is limited by the conventional stipulations of constitutional monarchy.
By the arrangements of the Canadian federation, Canada's monarchy operates in Ontario as the core of the province's Westminster-style parliamentary democracy. As such, the Crown within Ontario's jurisdiction may be referred to as the Crown in Right of Ontario, Her Majesty in Right of Ontario, the Queen in Right of Ontario, or Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Ontario. The Constitution Act, 1867, however, leaves many functions in Ontario specifically assigned to the sovereign's viceroy, the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, whose direct participation in governance is limited by the conventional stipulations of constitutional monarchy.
By the arrangements of the Canadian federation, the Canadian monarchy operates in Newfoundland and Labrador as the core of the province's Westminster-style parliamentary democracy. As such, the Crown within Newfoundland and Labrador's jurisdiction is referred to as the Crown in Right of Newfoundland and Labrador, Her Majesty in Right of Newfoundland and Labrador, or the Queen in Right of Newfoundland and Labrador. The Constitution Act, 1867, however, leaves many royal duties in Newfoundland and Labrador specifically assigned to the sovereign's viceroy, the Lieutenant Governor of Newfoundland and Labrador, whose direct participation in governance is limited by the conventional stipulations of constitutional monarchy.
By the arrangements of the Canadian federation, Canada's monarchy operates in British Columbia as the core of the province's Westminster-style parliamentary democracy. As such, the Crown within British Columbia's jurisdiction is referred to as the Crown in Right of British Columbia, Her Majesty in Right of British Columbia, or the Queen in Right of British Columbia. The Constitution Act, 1867, however, leaves many royal duties in British Columbia specifically assigned to the sovereign's viceroy, the Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia, whose direct participation in governance is limited by the conventional stipulations of constitutional monarchy.
By the arrangements of the Canadian federation, Canada's monarchy operates in Alberta as the core of the province's Westminster-style parliamentary democracy. As such, the Crown within Alberta's jurisdiction is referred to as the Crown in Right of Alberta, Her Majesty in Right of Alberta, or The Queen in Right of Alberta. The Constitution Act, 1867, however, leaves many royal duties in Alberta specifically assigned to the sovereign's viceroy, the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta, whose direct participation in governance is limited by the conventional stipulations of constitutional monarchy.
By the arrangements of the Canadian federation, Canada's monarchy operates in Manitoba as the core of the province's Westminster-style parliamentary democracy. As such, the Crown within Manitoba's jurisdiction is referred to as the Crown in Right of Manitoba, Her Majesty in Right of Manitoba, or the Queen in Right of Manitoba. The Constitution Act, 1867, however, leaves many royal duties in Manitoba specifically assigned to the sovereign's viceroy, the Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba, whose direct participation in governance is limited by the conventional stipulations of constitutional monarchy.
By the arrangements of the Canadian federation, Canada's monarchy operates in New Brunswick as the core of the province's Westminster-style parliamentary democracy. As such, the Crown within New Brunswick's jurisdiction is referred to as the Crown in Right of New Brunswick, Her Majesty in Right of New Brunswick, or the Queen in Right of New Brunswick. The Constitution Act, 1867, however, leaves many royal duties in New Brunswick specifically assigned to the sovereign's viceroy, the Lieutenant Governor of New Brunswick, whose direct participation in governance is limited by the conventional stipulations of constitutional monarchy.
The monarchy of Canada forms the core of each Canadian provincial jurisdiction's Westminster-style parliamentary democracy, being the foundation of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government in each province. The monarchy has been headed since February 6, 1952 by Queen Elizabeth II who as sovereign is shared equally with both the Commonwealth realms and the Canadian federal entity. She, her consort, and other members of the Canadian Royal Family undertake various public and private functions across the country. However, the Queen is the only member of the Royal Family with any constitutional role.
The monarch of Barbados is the sovereign and head of state of Barbados. The current Barbadian monarch and head of state, since the independence of Barbados on 30 November 1966, is Queen Elizabeth II. As the sovereign, she is the personal embodiment of the Barbadian Crown. Although the person of the sovereign is equally shared with 15 other independent countries within the Commonwealth of Nations, each country's monarchy is separate and legally distinct. As a result, the current monarch is officially titled Queen of Barbados and, in this capacity, she, her husband, and other members of the Royal Family undertake public and private functions domestically and abroad as representatives of the Barbadian state. However, the Queen is the only member of the Royal Family with any constitutional role. The Queen lives predominantly in the United Kingdom and, while several powers are the sovereign's alone, most of the royal governmental and ceremonial duties in Barbados are carried out by the Queen's representative, the governor-general.
The monarchy of Papua New Guinea is a system of government in which a hereditary monarch is the sovereign and head of state of Papua New Guinea. The current monarch, since 16 September 1975, is Queen Elizabeth II. Although the person of the sovereign is equally shared with 15 other independent countries within the Commonwealth of Nations, each country's monarchy is separate and legally distinct. As a result, the current monarch is officially titled the Queen of Papua New Guinea and, in this capacity, she, her consort, and other members of the Royal Family undertake public and private functions domestically and abroad as representatives of the Papua New Guinean state. However, the Queen is the only member of the Royal Family with any constitutional role. The Queen lives predominantly in the United Kingdom and, while several powers are the sovereign's alone, most of the royal governmental and ceremonial duties in Papua New Guinea are carried out by the Queen's representative, the governor-general.
The monarchy of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is the constitutional system of government in which a hereditary monarch is the sovereign and head of state of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, forming the core of the country's Westminster-style parliamentary democracy. The Crown is thus is the foundation of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of the Vincentian government. While Royal Assent and the royal sign-manual are required to enact laws, letters patent, and orders in council, the authority for these acts stems from the Vincentian populace, and, within the conventional stipulations of constitutional monarchy, the sovereign's direct participation in any of these areas of governance is limited, with most related powers entrusted for exercise by the elected and appointed parliamentarians, the ministers of the Crown generally drawn from amongst them, and the judges and Justices of the Peace.
The Law of Guernsey originates in Norman Customary Law, overlaid with principles taken from English common law and Equity, as well as from statute law enacted by the competent legislature(s) -- usually, but not always, the States of Guernsey
When public land is required by the federal government or one of its departments, or any provincial ministry, the land itself is not transferred. What is transferred is the responsibility to manage the lands on behalf of Her Majesty the Queen (HMQ). This is accomplished by an Order-in-Council or a Minister's Order that transfers management of land either from HMQ in right of Ontario to HMQ in right of Canada as represented by a department or to HMQ in right of Ontario as represented by another ministry. The Crown does not transfer ownership to itself.
Because of the events of the War of Independence, the phrase 'Crown Forces' came to represent something abhorrent in the Republican narrative.