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Encyclopedia > Royal assent

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The granting of Royal Assent is the formal method by which a constitutional monarch completes the legislative process of lawmaking by formally assenting to an Act of Parliament. While the power to withhold Royal Assent was once exercised often, it is almost never exercised under modern constitutional conventions. The power remains as one of the reserve powers of the monarch. Constitutional monarchies with representative parliamentary systems are shown in red. ... This article is about law in society. ... In Westminster System parliaments, an Act of Parliament is a part of the law passed by the Parliament. ... A reserve power is a power that may be exercised by the head of state of a country in certain exceptional circumstances. ...


The granting of the Royal Assent is sometimes associated with elaborate ceremonies. In the United Kingdom, for instance, the Sovereign appoints Lords Commissioners who in turn announce that Royal Assent has been granted at a ceremony at the Palace of Westminster, Buckingham Palace or another royal residence. In other nations, such as Australia and Canada, the Governor-General merely signs the bill. In each case, the Parliament must be apprised of the granting of Assent. Two methods are available: the Lords Commissioners or the Sovereign's representatives may grant Assent in the presence of both Houses of Parliament; alternatively, each House may be notified separately, usually by the presiding officer. The Lords Commissioners are Privy Counsellors appointed by the Monarch of the United Kingdom to exercise, on his or her behalf, certain functions relating to Parliament, including the opening and closing of Parliament, the confirmation of a newly elected Speaker of the House of Commons and the granting of Royal... The Palace of Westminster, also known as the Houses of Parliament or Westminster Palace, in London, England is where the two Houses of the Parliament of the United Kingdom (the House of Lords and the House of Commons) meet to conduct their business. ... Buckingham Palace and the Victoria Memorial. ... Governor-General (or Governor General) is a term used both historically and currently to designate the appointed representative of a head of state or their government for a particular territory, historically in a colonial context, but no longer necessarily in that form. ...


United Kingdom

In the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the Royal Assent is a constitutional convention whereby assent to legislation is granted by the Sovereign (currently Elizabeth II). Once a bill is presented to the Sovereign or the Sovereign's representative, he or she has three formal options. Firstly, the Sovereign may grant the Royal Assent, thereby making the bill an Act of Parliament. Secondly, the Sovereign may withhold the Royal Assent, thereby vetoing the bill. Finally, the Sovereign may reserve the Royal Assent, that is to say, defer a decision on the bill until a later time. ... The British Monarchy is a shared monarchy. ... Elizabeth II (Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor; born 21 April 1926) is Queen of sixteen sovereign states, holding each crown and title equally. ...


Under modern constitutional conventions, the Sovereign acts on the advice of his or her ministers. Since these ministers most often maintain the support of Parliament and are the ones who obtain the passage of bills, it is highly improbable that they would advise the Sovereign to withhold Assent. (An exception is sometimes stated to be if bills are not passed in "good faith," though it is difficult to imagine what this would constitute.) Hence, in modern practice, the Royal Assent is always granted; a refusal to do so would only be appropriate in an emergency requiring the use of the monarch's reserve powers.


Historical development

Originally, legislative power was held by the Sovereign, acting on the advice of the Curia Regis, or Royal Council, in which important magnates and clerics participated, and which evolved into Parliament. The so-called "Model Parliament" was called, irregularly and without any royal authorisation, by Simon de Montfort, 6th Earl of Leicester in 1265; it included bishops, abbots, earls, barons, two knights from each shire and two burgesses from each borough. The body eventually came to be divided into two branches: bishops, abbots, earls and barons formed the House of Lords, and the shire and borough representatives formed the House of Commons. The King would seek the advice and consent of both Houses before making any law. Under Henry VI in the fifteenth century, it became regular practice for the two Houses to originate legislation in the form of bills, which did not become law unless the Sovereign's Assent was obtained, as the Sovereign was, and still remains, the enactor of laws. Hence, all Acts include the clause: "Be it enacted by the Queen's (King's) most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows...". The Parliament Act gives a second potential preamble if the House of Lords is excluded from the process. Curia Regis is a Latin term meaning Royal Council or Kings court. The Curia Regis in England was a council of tenants-in-chief and ecclesiastics that advised the king of England on legislative matters. ... From the Chamber of the United States House of Representatives Simon de Montfort, 6th Earl of Leicester (1208 – August 4, 1265) was the principal leader of the baronial opposition to King Henry III of England. ... For broader historical context, see 1260s and 13th century. ... A shire is an administrative area of Great Britain and Australia. ... A borough is an administrative division used in various countries. ... This article is about the British House of Lords. ... The House of Commons is the lower house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. ... Henry VI (December 6, 1421 – May 21, 1471) was King of England from 1422 to 1461 (though with a Regent until 1437) and then from 1470 to 1471, and King of France from 1422 to 1453. ... The Lords Spiritual of the United Kingdom, also called Spiritual Peers, consist of the 26 clergymen of the established Church of England who serve in the House of Lords along with the Lords Temporal. ... The examples and perspective in this article or section may not represent a worldwide view. ... The Palace of Westminster, also known as the Houses of Parliament. ...


The power of Parliament to pass bills was often thwarted by monarchs. Charles I dissolved Parliament in 1629 after it passed bills seeking to restrict, and motions critical of, his arbitrary exercise of power; during the "Eleven Years of Tyranny" that followed, he performed legally dubious actions such as legislating raising taxes without Parliament's approval. After the English Civil War, it was accepted that Parliament should be summoned to meet regularly, but it was still commonplace for monarchs to refuse the Royal Assent to bills. For instance, in 1678, Charles II withheld his Assent from a bill "for preserving the Peace of the Kingdom by raising the Militia, and continuing them in Duty for Two and Forty Days," suggesting that he—not Parliament—should control the militia. The last Stuart monarch, Anne, similarly withheld, on the advice of her ministers, her Assent from a bill "for the settling of Militia in Scotland" on March 11, 1708, but no monarch since has withheld the Royal Assent on a bill passed by the British Parliament. Charles I (19 November 1600 – 30 January 1649) was King of England, King of Ireland, and King of Scots from 27 March 1625 until his execution in 1649. ... Events March 4 - Massachusetts Bay Colony is granted a Royal charter. ... The English Civil War was a series of armed conflicts and political machinations which took place between Parliamentarians (known as Roundheads) and Royalists (known as Cavaliers) from 1642 until 1651. ... Events August 10 - Treaty of Nijmegen ends the Dutch War. ... Charles II (29 May 1630 – 6 February 1685) was the King of England, King of Scots, and King of Ireland from 30 January 1649 (de jure) or 29 May 1660 (de facto) until his death. ... Lexington Minuteman representing militia minuteman John Parker A militia is the activity of one or more citizens organized to provide defense or paramilitary service, or those engaged in such activity. ... Anne (6 February 1665 – 1 August 1714) became Queen of England, Scotland and Ireland on 8 March 1702. ... Motto: (Latin for No one provokes me with impunity)1 Anthem: Multiple unofficial anthems Capital Edinburgh Largest city Glasgow Official language(s) English, Gaelic, Scots 2 Government Constitutional monarchy  - Queen Queen Elizabeth II  - Prime Minister of the UK Tony Blair MP  - First Minister Jack McConnell MSP Unification    - by Kenneth I... March 11 is the 70th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (71st in Leap year). ... // Events March 23 - James Francis Edward Stuart lands at the Firth of Forth July 1 - Tewoflos becomes Emperor of Ethiopia September 28 - Peter the Great defeats the Swedes at the Battle of Lesnaya Kandahar conquered by Mir Wais In Masuria one third of the population die during the plague J...


During the rule of the Hanoverian dynasty, which succeeded Stuarts, power was gradually transferred from the Sovereign to Parliament and the Government. For instance, the first Hanoverian monarch, George I, who spoke no English and preferred to concentrate on his German possessions, relied on his ministers more than previous monarchs. Later Hanoverian monarchs attempted to restore royal control over legislation. George III and George IV both openly opposed Catholic Emancipation (the attempt to abolish religious restrictions that prevented Roman Catholics from serving in certain public posts). Both asserted that to grant Assent to a Catholic Emancipation bill would be to violate the coronation oath, which required the Sovereign to preserve the established Church of England. George IV, however, reluctantly granted his Assent upon the advice of his ministers. The House of Hanover (the Hanoverians) were a German royal dynasty of Lombard descent which succeeded the House of Stuart as kings of Great Britain in 1714. ... George I (Georg Ludwig) (28 May 1660 – 11 June 1727) was Elector of Hanover from 23 January 1698, and King of Great Britain and King of Ireland from 1 August 1714, until his death. ... George III (George William Frederick) (4 June 1738 – 29 January 1820) was King of Great Britain and King of Ireland from 25 October 1760 until 1 January 1801, and thereafter United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland until his death. ... George IV (George Augustus Frederick) (12 August 1762 – 26 June 1830) was king of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and Hanover from 29 January 1820 until his death. ... Catholic Emancipation was a process in Great Britain and Ireland in the late 18th century and early 19th century which involved reducing and removing many of the restrictions on Roman Catholics which had been introduced by the Act of Uniformity, the Test Acts and the Penal Laws. ... British coronations are held in Westminster Abbey. ... The Church of England is the officially established Christian church[1] in England, and acts as the mother and senior branch of the worldwide Anglican Communion, as well as a founding member of the Porvoo Communion. ...


Thus, as the concept of ministerial responsibility has evolved, the power to withhold the Royal Assent has fallen into disuse, both in the United Kingdom and in the Commonwealth Realms. As noted above, Assent is, in practice, always granted.


There is a situation, however, in which a more direct monarchical assent is required for a bill. This is not Royal Assent, but is termed Queen's Consent. In order for any bill affecting, directly or by implication, the prerogative, hereditary revenues (ultimus haeres, treasure trove, bona vacantia) or the personal property or interests of the Crown to be heard in Parliament, the monarch must first consent to its hearing. On rare occasions, such as for the House of Lords Act 1999, the consent of the Prince of Wales, as Prince and Steward of Scotland, or as Duke of Cornwall, must also be obtained where a Bill affects his interests. The Royal Prerogative is a body of customary authority, privilege, and immunity, recognised in common law jurisdictions possessing a monarchy as belonging to the Crown alone. ... Ultimus haeres (Latin for ultimate heir) is a concept in Scots law where if a person in Scotland who dies without leaving a will (i. ... A treasure-trove is gold, silver, gems, money, jewellery, etc found hidden under ground or in cellar or attics, etc. ... Bona vacantia (Latin for vacant goods) is a common law doctrine in the United Kingdom under which ownerless property passes by law to the Crown. ... The House of Lords Act 1999, an Act of Parliament passed by the British Parliament, was a major constitutional enactment as it reformed greatly one of the chambers of Parliament, the House of Lords (see Lords Reform). ... The Prince of Wales Feathers. This Heraldic badge of the Heir Apparent is derived from the ostrich feathers borne by Edward, the Black Prince. ... The Dukedom of Cornwall was the first dukedom created in the peerage of England. ...


In 1999, Queen Elizabeth II, acting on the advice of the government, refused to signify her consent to the Military Action Against Iraq (Parliamentary Approval) Bill, which sought to transfer from the monarch to Parliament the power to authorize military strikes against Iraq. Due to the Crown's refusal to consent to the bill's hearing, it was automatically dropped. However, because the Bill had been introduced under the Ten Minute Rule, it never stood any chance of being fully debated by Parliament, and it does not represent a test of what would happen if a future government introduced other legislation affecting the reserve powers of the Crown. The Military Action Against Iraq (Parliamentary Approval) Bill was a private members bill introduced into the British House of Commons on 26 January 1999 by Tam Dalyell MP under the ten minute rule. ... The Crown is a term which is used to separate the government authority and property of the state in a kingdom from any personal influence and private assets held by the current Monarch. ... The Ten Minute Rule, also known as Standing Order No. ...


Ceremony

In the United Kingdom, a bill is presented for Royal Assent after having been passed by both the House of Commons and the House of Lords. Alternatively, under the Parliament Acts of 1911 and 1949, the House of Commons may under certain circumstances direct that a bill be presented for Assent despite non-passage in the House of Lords. In either case, the Sovereign does not actually analyze the bill and make a decision on whether or not to grant Assent. In practice, the granting of Assent is purely ceremonial. Officially, Assent is granted by the Sovereign or by Lords Commissioners authorised to act by letters patent. It may be granted in Parliament or outside Parliament; in the latter case, each House must be separately notified before the bill takes effect. The Palace of Westminster, also known as the Houses of Parliament. ... 1911 (MCMXI) was a common year starting on Sunday (click on link for calendar). ... 1949 (MCMXLIX) was a common year starting on Saturday (the link is to a full 1949 calendar). ... Letters Patent by Queen Victoria creating the office of Governor-General of Australia Letters patent are a type of legal instrument in the form of an open letter issued by a monarch or government granting an office, a right, monopoly, title, or status to someone or some entity such as...


The Clerk of the Parliaments, an official of the House of Lords, traditionally states an Anglo-Norman formula indicating the Sovereign's decision. The granting of the Royal Assent to a supply bill is indicated with the words La Reyne remercie ses bons sujets, accepte leur benevolence, et ainsi le veult (the Queen thanks her good subjects, accepts their benevolence, and wills it so). For other public or private bills, the formula is simply La Reyne le veult (the Queen wills it). For personal bills, the phrase was Soit fait comme il est désiré (so be it as it is desired). The appropriate formula for withholding Assent is the euphemistic La Reyne s'avisera (the Queen will consider it). When the Sovereign is male, Le Roy (the King) is substituted for La Reyne (the Queen). The spelling of the words in the formulæ has varied over the years; for example, in former times, s'uvisera and s'advisera were used instead of s'avisera, and Raine was used instead of Reyne. The Anglo-Norman language is the name given to the variety of Norman spoken by the Anglo-Normans, the descendants of the Normans who ruled England following the conquest by William of Normandy in 1066. ...


Formerly, the Sovereign always granted his or her Assent in person. The Sovereign, wearing the Imperial State Crown, would be seated on the Throne in the Lords Chamber, surrounded by heralds and members of the Royal Court (nowadays, the scene is repeated only at the annual State Opening of Parliament). The Commons, led by their Speaker, would listen from the Bar of the Lords, just outside the Chamber. The Clerk of the Parliaments presented the bills awaiting Assent to the Sovereign, save that supply bills were traditionally brought up by the Speaker. The Clerk of the Crown, standing on the Sovereign's right, then read aloud the titles of the bills (in earlier times, the entire text of the bills). The Clerk of the Parliaments, standing on the Sovereign's left, responded by stating the appropriate Norman French formula. The Imperial State Crown is one of the British Crown Jewels. ... Henry Edgar Paston-Bedingfeld, Her Majestys York Herald of Arms in Ordinary at the College of Arms. ... In the United Kingdom, the State Opening of Parliament is an annual event held usually in October or November that marks the commencement of a session of Parliament. ... In the United Kingdom, the Speaker of the House of Commons is the presiding officer of the House of Commons, and is seen historically as the First Commoner of the Land. ... Supply has a number of meanings: In economics, supply is the aggregate amount of any material good that can be called into being at a certain price point; it comprises one half of the equation of supply and demand. ...

Henry VIII introduced a new method of granting the Royal Assent.
Henry VIII introduced a new method of granting the Royal Assent.

A new device for granting Assent was created during the reign of Henry VIII. In 1542, Henry decided to execute his fifth wife, Catherine Howard, whom he accused of committing adultery; the execution was to be authorised not after a trial but by a bill of attainder, to which he would have to personally assent after listening to the entire text. Henry decided that "the repetition of so grievous a Story and the recital of so infamous a crime" in his presence "might reopen a Wound already closing in the Royal Bosom." Therefore, Parliament inserted a clause into the Act of Attainder, providing that Assent granted by Commissioners "is and ever was and ever shall be, as good" as Assent granted by the Sovereign personally. The procedure was used only five times during the sixteenth century, but more often during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, especially when George III's health began to deteriorate. Victoria became the last Sovereign to personally grant Assent in 1854. When granting Assent by Commission, the Sovereign authorises three or more (normally five) Lords who are Privy Counsellors to grant Assent in his or her name. The Lords Commissioners, as the Sovereign's representatives are known, wear scarlet Parliamentary Robes and sit on a bench between the Throne and the Woolsack, with the Speaker and the Commons attending at the Bar of the Lords. The Lords Reading Clerk read the Commission aloud; the senior Commissioner (usually the Lord Chancellor), then states, "My Lords, in obedience to Her Majesty's Commands, and by virtue of the Commission which has been now read, We do declare and notify to you, the Lords Spiritual and Temporal and Commons in Parliament assembled, that Her Majesty has given Her Royal Assent to the several Acts in the Commission mentioned." Thereafter, the Clerk of the Crown states the title, with the Clerk of the Parliaments responding with the appropriate Norman French formula. Download high resolution version (449x675, 117 KB)This is a file from the Wikimedia Commons, a repository of free content hosted by the Wikimedia Foundation. ... Download high resolution version (449x675, 117 KB)This is a file from the Wikimedia Commons, a repository of free content hosted by the Wikimedia Foundation. ... For the play, see Henry VIII (play). ... Events War resumes between Francis I of France and Emperor Charles V. This time Henry VIII of England is allied to the Emperor, while James V of Scotland and Sultan Suleiman I are allied to the French. ... Miniature watercolour portrait of Catherine Howard, attributed to Hans Holbein the Younger. ... Adultery is generally defined as consensual sexual intercourse by a married person with someone other than his or her lawful spouse. ... A bill of attainder (also known as an act or writ of attainder) is an act of legislature declaring a person or group of persons guilty of some crime, and punishing them, without benefit of a trial. ... Victoria (Alexandrina Victoria; 24 May 1819 – 22 January 1901) was the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 20 June 1837, and the first Empress of India from 1 May 1876, until her death on 22 January 1901. ... 1854 (MDCCCLIV) was a common year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar). ... A privy council is a body that advises the head of state of a nation, especially in a monarchy. ... The woolsack in the former Irish House of Lords. ... This article or section needs a complete rewrite for the reasons listed on the talk page. ...


During the 1960s, the ceremony of assenting by Commission was discontinued. In 1960, the Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod arrived to summon the House of Commons during a heated debate; several members protested against the disruption by refusing to attend the ceremony. The debacle was repeated in 1965; this time, when the Speaker left the chair to go to the House of Lords, some members continued to make speeches. As a result, the Royal Assent Act 1967 was passed, creating an additional form for the granting of the Royal Assent. The 1960s decade refers to the years from January 1, 1960 to December 31, 1969, inclusive. ... Year 1960 (MCMLX) was a leap year starting on Friday (the link is to a full 1960 calendar). ... The Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod, generally shortened to just Black Rod, is an official in the parliaments of a number of Commonwealth countries. ... 1965 (MCMLXV) was a common year starting on Friday (the link is to a full 1965 calendar). ...


Thus, the granting of Assent by the monarch in person, or Commission is still possible, but this third form is used on a day-to-day basis.


Under the Royal Assent Act 1967, Royal Assent can be granted by the Sovereign in writing, by means of letters patent, that are presented to the presiding officer of each House of Parliament. Then, the presiding officer makes a formal, but simple statement to the House, acquainting each House that the Royal Assent has been granted to the acts mentioned. Thus, unlike the granting of Royal Assent by the Sovereign in person or by Royal Commissioners, the method created by the Royal Assent Act 1967 does not require both Houses to meet jointly for the purpose of receiving the notice of Royal Assent. The standard text of the Letters Patent is set out in The Crown Office (Forms and Proclamations Rules) Order 1992 [1], with minor amendments in 2000.


No law has been assented to by the monarch in person since the reign of Queen Victoria. However, formally, this still remains the standard method, a fact that is revealed by the wording of the Letters Patent for the appointment of the Royal Commissioners, and by the wording of the Letters Patent for the granting of the Royal Assent in writing under the 1967 Act. ("... And forasmuch as We cannot at this time be present in the Higher House of Our said Parliament being the accustomed place for giving Our Royal Assent...").


The traditional ceremony whereby the Lords Commissioners declare Assent in the presence of both Houses is still followed once at the end of each Parliamentary session. The procedure adopted in 1967 is followed in most cases.


When the Act is assented by the Sovereign in person, or by Royal Commissioners empowered by him, Royal Assent is considered given at the moment when the assent is declared in the presence of both Houses jointly assembled. When the procedure created by the Royal Assent Act, 1967 is followed, Assent is considered granted after the presiding officers of both Houses, having received the Letters Patent from the monarch signifying the Assent, notify their respective House of the grant of Royal Assent. Thus, if each presiding officer makes the announcement at a different time (for instance because one House is not sitting on a certain date), assent is regarded as granted when the second announcement is made. This is relevant because, under British Law, unless there is any provision to the contrary, an Act takes effect on the date in which it receives Royal Assent, and that date is not regarded as being the date when the Letters Patent are signed, or when they are delivered to the presiding officers of each House, but the date in which both Houses have been formally acquainted of the conferral of Assent to the Act.


Independently of the method used to signify the Royal Assent, it is always the responsibility of the Clerk of the Parliaments, once it has been duly notified to both Houses, not only to endorse the Act with the formal Norman French formula, but also to certify that the Assent has been granted, signing one authentic copy of the Bill that has just become an Act, and inserting in this copy, between the text of the enacting clause and the first section of the Act, the date when the Royal Assent was notified to both Houses.


When the Act is published, the signature of the clerk is omitted, as is the Norman French formula (should the endorsement have been made in writing), but the date inserted by him as being the date when Royal Assent notified is printed in brackets.


Scotland

Royal Assent is the final stage in the legislative process for Acts of the Scottish Parliament. The process is governed by sections 28, 32 and 33 of the Scotland Act 1998. After a Bill has been passed, the Presiding Officer submits it to Her Majesty for Royal Assent, but only after a four-week period during which the Advocate General for Scotland, the Lord Advocate or the Attorney General may refer the Bill to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council for review of its legality. The Scottish Parliaments logo in English and Gaelic. ... The Scotland Act 1998 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom at Westminster. ... The Presiding Officer (Oifigear-Riaghlaidh in Scots Gaelic) is the Speaker, the person elected by the Members of the Scottish Parliament to chair their meetings. ... Her Majestys Advocate General for Scotland (Àrd-neach-tagraidh na Bànrighe airson Alba in Gaelic) is one of the Law Officers of the Crown, whose duty is to advise the Crown and UK Government on Scots law. ... Her Majestys Advocate, known as the Lord Advocate (Morair Tagraidh in Scottish Gaelic) is the chief legal adviser to the Scottish Executive and the Crown in Scotland for both civil and criminal matters that fall within the devolved powers of the Scottish Parliament. ... In most common law jurisdictions, the Attorney General is the main legal adviser to the government, and in some jurisdictions may in addition have executive responsibility for law enforcement or responsibility for public prosecutions. ... The Judicial Committee of the Privy Council is one of the highest courts in the United Kingdom. ...


Royal Assent is signified by Letters Patent under the Great Seal of Scotland, the form of which has been specified in The Scottish Parliament (Letters Patent and Proclamations) Order 1999. Notice is published in the London, Edinburgh and Belfast Gazettes. The Great Seal of Scotland allows the monarch to authorise official documents without having to sign each document individually. ...


Commonwealth

Queen Elizabeth II signs the Constitution Act into law in Ottawa on April 17, 1982
Queen Elizabeth II signs the Constitution Act into law in Ottawa on April 17, 1982

In Commonwealth Realms besides the UK, the Royal Assent is granted or withheld by the Governor-General, the representative of the Sovereign. Similarly, in these Realms' states, provinces or territories, Assent is granted or withheld by the Governor or Lieutenant Governor. In Crown colonies the Governor or Lieutenant Governor grants the Royal Assent. The Sovereign's representative may reserve a bill for the Sovereign's pleasure, that is to say, allow the Sovereign to make a personal decision on the bill. A Governor or Lieutenant Governor of a subnational entity may similarly defer to the Governor-General (who may in turn defer to the Sovereign). The Sovereign has the power to disallow a bill (usually within a specific time limit) that has received the Royal Assent from one of his or her representatives. Image File history File linksMetadata Ouellet_approaches_to_sign_the_Constitution. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Ouellet_approaches_to_sign_the_Constitution. ... Controversy Things have not always been perfect for Elizabeth II as Queen of Canada. ... The Constitution Act, 1982 (Schedule B of the Canada Act 1982 (U.K.)) is a part of the Constitution of Canada. ... April 17 is the 107th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (108th in leap years). ... 1982 (MCMLXXXII) was a common year starting on Friday of the Gregorian calendar. ... A governor or governour (archaic) is a governing official, usually the executive (at least nominally, to different degrees also politically and administratively) of a non-sovereign level of government, ranking under the Head of state; furthermore the title applies to officials with a similar mandate as representatives of a chartered... A Lieutenant Governor is a government official who is the subordinate or deputy of a Governor or Governor-General. ... A United Kingdom overseas territory (formerly known as a dependent territory or earlier as a crown colony) is a territory that is under the sovereignty and formal control of the United Kingdom but is not part of the United Kingdom proper (Great Britain and Northern Ireland). ...


The Lieutenant Governors of Crown dependencies do not grant the Royal Assent. Instead, the Sovereign directly grants the Royal Assent with Orders-in-Council (i.e., orders made during sessions of the Privy Council). The Isle of Man is an exception; the Lieutenant Governor grants the Royal Assent to most bills, but some important bills are approved by the Sovereign directly. Crown dependencies are possessions of the British Crown, as opposed to overseas territories or colonies of the United Kingdom. ... A privy council is a body that advises the head of state of a nation, especially in a monarchy. ...


As in the United Kingdom, Royal Assent is by convention never withheld, both in the independent Commonwealth Realms and in British Crown colonies and dependencies. In some cases, when a royal visit to a Commonwealth Realm is pending, Assent may be reserved so that the Sovereign may grant it in person.


Historical development

While the Royal Assent has not been withheld in Great Britain (and in the United Kingdom) since 1708, it has often been withheld in British colonies and former colonies by Governors acting on royal instructions. In the United States Declaration of Independence (1776), colonists complained that George III "has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good [and] has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them." Even after colonies such as Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Newfoundland were granted responsible government, the British Government continued to advise Governors-General on the granting of Assent. Assent was sometimes reserved in order to allow the British Government to examine a bill before advising the Governor-General. // Events March 23 - James Francis Edward Stuart lands at the Firth of Forth July 1 - Tewoflos becomes Emperor of Ethiopia September 28 - Peter the Great defeats the Swedes at the Battle of Lesnaya Kandahar conquered by Mir Wais In Masuria one third of the population die during the plague J... United States Declaration of Independence The Declaration of Independence was an act of the Second Continental Congress, adopted on July 4, 1776, which declared that the Thirteen Colonies were independent of Great Britain. ... Year 1776 was a leap year starting on Monday (see link for calendar). ... Motto: Quaerite Prime Regnum Dei (Latin: Seek ye first the kingdom of God) Official languages English Flower Pitcher Plant Tree Black Spruce Bird Atlantic Puffin Capital St. ... Responsible government is a system of government that embodies the principle of parliamentary accountability which is the foundation of the Westminster system of parliamentary democracy. ...


Since the 1920s, Governors-General have acted solely on the advice of the local ministers, rather than on that of the British Government. As in the United Kingdom, the ministers generally maintain the support of the legislature and are the ones who secure the passage of bills; therefore, they are unlikely to advise the Sovereign's representative to withhold Assent. The 1920s was a decade sometimes referred to as the Jazz Age or the Roaring Twenties, usually applied to America. ...


The power to withhold the Royal Assent was notably exercised by Alberta's Lieutenant Governor, John C. Bowen, in 1937, in respect of three bills passed under William Aberhart's Social Credit Government. Two bills sought to put banks under the authority of the province, thereby interfering with the federal government's powers. The third, the Accurate News and Information Bill, purported to force newspapers to print government rebuttals to stories to which the provincial cabinet objected. The unconstitutionality of all three bills was later confirmed by the Supreme Court of Canada and by the Privy Council. Motto: Fortis et liber (Latin: Strong and free) Official languages English (see below) Flower   Wild rose Tree Lodgepole Pine Bird Great Horned Owl Capital Edmonton Largest city Calgary Lieutenant-Governor Norman Kwong Premier Ed Stelmach (PC) Parliamentary representation  - House seats  - Senate seats 28 6 Area Total  - Land  - Water  (% of total... John Campbell Bowen (October 3, 1872 - January 2, 1957) was a clergyman and was the longest serving Lieutenant-Governor of Alberta in the history of the province. ... 1937 (MCMXXXVII) was a common year starting on Friday (link will take you to calendar). ... William Aberhart - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia /**/ @import /skins-1. ... Social Credit is an economic ideology and a social movement which started in the early 1920s. ... For other uses, see Bank (disambiguation). ... The Supreme Court of Canada (French: Cour suprême du Canada) is the highest court of Canada and is the final court of appeal in the Canadian justice system. ... The Judicial Committee of the Privy Council is one of the highest courts in the United Kingdom. ...


A technical issue arose with the Royal Assent in Australia in 1976 and 2001. In 1976 a bill originated in the House of Representatives which had not been passed by both Houses was mistakenly forwarded to the Governor-General and assented to. There was confusion because two bills of the same title had originated in the House. When the error was discovered the Governor-General revoked the purported assent and assented to the bill which had actually passed. A similar procedure was followed to correct an error in a House bill in 2001. Australian House of Representatives chamber Entrance to the House of Representatives The Australian House of Representatives is one of the two houses (chambers) of the Parliament of Australia. ...


Scholars have discussed circumstances under which the use of the power would be justified, for example in the context of Quebec sovereignism. Some legal scholars have suggested that the Lieutenant Governor of Quebec would be justified in withholding Assent from a bill that would separate the province from the remainder of Canada. Quebec The Quebec sovereignty movement is a movement calling for the attainment of sovereignty for Quebec, a province of the country of Canada. ... Motto: Je me souviens (French: I remember) Official languages French Flower Blue Flag Iris (Iris versicolor Linné) Tree Yellow Birch Bird Snowy Owl Capital Quebec City Largest city Montreal Lieutenant-Governor Lise Thibault Premier Jean Charest (PLQ) Parliamentary representation  - House seats  - Senate seats 75 24 Area Total  - Land  - Water  (% of...


Ceremony

In Commonwealth Realms, Assent may be granted by the Sovereign in person, by the Governor-General in person, or by a deputy acting for the Governor-General. In all of the Realms, however, Assent is more often granted or signified outside the legislature, with each House being notified separately.


In Australia, the formal ceremony of granting Assent in Parliament has not been regularly used since the early twentieth century. Now, the bill is sent to the Governor-General's residence by the House in which it originated. The Governor-General then signs the bill, sending messages to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, who notify their respective Houses of the Governor-General's action. A similar practice is followed in New Zealand, where the Governor-General has not personally granted the Royal Assent in Parliament since 1875. 1875 (MDCCCLXXV) was a common year starting on Friday (see link for calendar). ...

Royal Assent Ceremony on 12 December 2006.
Royal Assent Ceremony on 12 December 2006.

In Canada, the traditional ceremony for granting Assent in Parliament was regularly used until the twenty-first century, long after it had been discontinued in the United Kingdom and other Commonwealth Realms. Under the Royal Assent Act (2002), however, the alternative practice of granting Assent in writing, with each House being notified separately, was introduced. As the Act provides, the Royal Assent is signified in the Senate Chamber at least twice each calendar year: for the first appropriation measure and for the first non-appropriation measure passed. (But the Act provides that a grant of Royal Assent is not rendered invalid by a failure to employ the traditional ceremony where required.) Assent may be granted in the Senate Chamber by the Governor General, or, more often, by a Deputy (usually a Justice of the Supreme Court, all nine of whom are Deputy Governors General). The last traditional royal assent, with the Governor General being present, took place on 12 December 2006 (see attached image). Image File history File links PM-feature-FAA.jpg‎ File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Image File history File links PM-feature-FAA.jpg‎ File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... December 12 is the 346th day (347th in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian calendar, with 19 days remaining. ... 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... For album titles with the same name, see 2002 (album). ... The Senate of Canada (French: Le Sénat du Canada) is a component of the Parliament of Canada, along with the Sovereign (represented by the Governor General) and the House of Commons. ... The Supreme Court of Canada (French: Cour suprême du Canada) is the highest court of Canada and is the final court of appeal in the Canadian justice system. ... December 12 is the 346th day (347th in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian calendar, with 19 days remaining. ... 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


In the Isle of Man, a British Crown dependency, the Lieutenant Governor regularly grants the Royal Assent to bills passed by the Tynwald (the Manx legislature) without any special ceremony. Even after being granted the Royal Assent, however, the bill ceases to have effect within eighteen months of passage unless promulgated. A special promulgation ceremony is held each year on Tynwald Day (July 5). Members of the Tynwald assemble for a religious service at the Royal Chapel, and then proceed to Tynwald Hill, where the Acts are officially promulgated by two Deemsters (or judges), who read aloud the titles of the Acts in both Manx and English. The Tynwald then reconvenes in the Royal Chapel, where the promulgation is certified. Tynwald (Tinvaal) is the bicameral legislature of the Isle of Man (Ellan Vannin). ... Tynwald Day is the national holiday of the Isle of Man, usually occurring on 5 July. ... July 5 is the 186th day of the year (187th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 179 days remaining. ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ...


New Zealand

In New Zealand section 16 of the Constitution Act 1986 states how royal assent is given: "A Bill passed by the House of Representatives shall become law when the Sovereign or the Governor-General assents to it and signs it in token of such assent". This act also states in section 3 that royal assent can be given by the Queen in person or the Governor General on behalf of the Queen. The Constitution Act of 1986 is the principal formal statement of New Zealands Constitution. ...


See also: Constitution of New Zealand The Treaty of Waitangi is an increasingly important source of constitutional law in New Zealand The constitution of New Zealand consists of a collection of statutes (Acts of Parliament), Treaties, Orders-in-Council, Letters patent, decisions of the Courts and unwritten constitutional conventions. ...


British overseas territories

Governors of British overseas territories may assent or decline to assent legislations. [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] A United Kingdom overseas territory (formerly known as a dependent territory or earlier as a crown colony) is a territory that is under the sovereignty and formal control of the United Kingdom but is not part of the United Kingdom proper (almost exclusively Great Britain and Northern Ireland). ...


Former British colonies and possessions

When Hong Kong was under British rule, bills passed by the Legislative Council were required constitutionally to have the royal assent signified by the Governor. [7] [8]. (After its transfer of sovereignty to the People's Republic of China to become a special administrative region, bills are signed and promulgated by the Chief Executive, who is both the head of the territory and the head of government, to become ordinances. [9] [10]) Image File history File links Gnome-globe. ... The Legislative Council (abbreviated as LegCo; Chinese: 立法會, Pinyin: Lìfǎ Huì; formerly 立法局, Lìfǎ Jú) is the unicameral legislature of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the Peoples Republic of China. ... Governor of Hong Kongs Flag, 1959–1997 The Governor of Hong Kong (香港總督 / 港督) was a British official who ruled Hong Kong during the colonial period between 1841 and 1997 and was ex-officio Commander-in-Chief and Vice-Admiral of Hong Kong. ... In 1982, the governments of the United Kingdom and the Peoples Republic of China (PRC) initiated talks regarding the sovereignty of Hong Kong, which led to the transfer of the sovereignty of Hong Kong. ... A Special administrative region (SAR) is an administrative division of the Peoples Republic of China (PRC). ... Other Hong Kong topics Culture - Economy Education - Geography - History Hong Kong Portal The Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (Traditional Chinese: , Simplified Chinese: , pinyin: Xiānggǎng Tèbié Xíngzhèngqū Xíngzhèng Zhǎngguān; Cantonese Jyutping: hoeng1 gong2 dak6 bit6 hang4 zing3 keoi1...


Other countries

Other nations usually have a process whereby laws are promulgated. In Commonwealth states that are not Realms, the phrase "Assent" is usually employed. As in the United Kingdom, the grant of Assent by the head of state is usually a ceremonial procedure. In the United States and most other presidential republics, the President "signs bills into law"; the power may trace its roots to the British concept of the Royal Assent, but is substantive rather than ceremonial, as the president also has the option to veto bills. In most other nations, the head of state "sanctions" or "promulgates" the law. Promulgation is the act of formally proclaiming new legislation to the public. ... The Commonwealth of Nations (CN), usually known as the Commonwealth, is a voluntary association of 53 independent sovereign states, the majority of which are former colonies of the United Kingdom. ... A presidential system, also called a congressional system, is a system of government where the executive branch exists and presides (hence the term) separate from the legislature, to which it is not accountable, and which cannot in normal circumstances dismiss it. ... The word veto comes from Latin and literally means I forbid. ... Promulgation is the act of formally proclaiming new legislation to the public. ...


In many monarchies, such as Spain, Belgium, Norway, Denmark, Luxembourg, Malaysia and Japan, the monarch is responsible for promulgating laws. In other monarchies, such as the Netherlands and Sweden, the Government officially promulgates laws. In both cases, however, the process is usually ceremonial, whether by constitutional convention or by an explicit provision of the Constitution.


In Belgium the sanction royale has the same legal effect as Royal Assent. The government is responsible if the King refuses the royal sanction. The King promulgates the law. This means the King formally publishes the law and orders that it be executed. In 1990, when King Baudouin advised the government he could not, in conscience, sign a bill decriminalizing abortion, the Council of Ministers declared him incapable of exercising his powers at his own request. The bill was then assented to by all members of the council on the King's behalf. Both houses of Parliament declared the King capable of exercising his powers again the next day. Baudouin I, King of the Belgians, (Baudouin/Boudewijn Albert Charles Léopold Axel Marie Gustave) (7 September 1930 – 31 July 1993), reigned as King of the Belgians from 1951 to 1993. ... The Council of the European Union forms, along with the European Parliament, the legislative arm of the European Union (EU). ...


The only European monarchy that actually allows the monarch to withhold Royal Assent of his or her own will is Liechtenstein. When Prince Hans Adam II, in an unprecedented move for the constitutional monarchy, refused to give Royal Assent to a bill legalising abortion, he pushed for a bill to give him sweeping powers in the government beyond only ceremonial matters, including the power to appoint judges. Though in a moment of pique, he had once quipped that he would sell the country to Bill Gates and rename it Microsoft, he did seriously threaten to move to Austria with the Princely Family. The bill did pass, and the Prince now has many additional powers, including the power to withhold Royal Assent on his own accord. His Serene Highness Hans-Adam II (Johannes Hans Adam Ferdinand Aloys Josef Maria Marko dAviano Pius), styled HSH The Sovereign Prince of Liechtenstein (born February 14, 1945), is the son of Franz Josef II of Liechtenstein (1906-1989) and his wife Gina von Wilczek (1921-1989). ... For other persons named Bill Gates, see Bill Gates (disambiguation). ... Microsoft Corporation, (NASDAQ: MSFT, HKSE: 4338) is a multinational computer technology corporation with global annual revenue of US$44. ...


References

  • "Act of Parliament." (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica, 11th ed. London: Cambridge University Press.
  • Bond, M. F. (1956). "La Reyne le Veult: The making and keeping of Acts at Westminster." In History Today. (Vol. 6, pp. 756–773).
  • Davies, M. (2003). Companion to the Standing Orders and guide to the Proceedings of the House of Lords, 19th ed.
  • Farnborough, T. E. May, 1st Baron. (1896). The Constitutional History of England since the Accession of George the Third 1760–1860, 11th ed. (Vol. 1). London: Longmans, Green and Co.
  • The High Court of Tynwald. (2004). "Tynwald at St John's."
  • Legislative Assembly of Alberta. (2004). The Honourable John C. Bowen, 1937–50."
  • "Parliament." (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica, 11th ed. London: Cambridge University Press.
  • Robertson, J. R. (2001). "Bill S-13: The Royal Assent Act."
  • Royal Assent Act. (2002, c. 15). Ottawa: The Queen's Printer.
  • Australian Senate Practice

  Results from FactBites:
 
Royal Assent: Information from Answers.com (4097 words)
The Lords Commissioners, as the Sovereign's representatives are known, wear scarlet Parliamentary Robes and sit on a bench between the Throne and the Woolsack, with the Speaker and the Commons attending at the Bar of the Lords.
Royal Assent is the final stage in the legislative process for Acts of the Scottish Parliament.
Royal Assent is signified by Letters Patent under the Great Seal of Scotland, the form of which has been specified in The Scottish Parliament (Letters Patent and Proclamations) Order 1999.
Royal Assent - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (4071 words)
The granting of the Royal Assent is sometimes associated with elaborate ceremonies.
As a result, the Royal Assent Act 1967 was passed, creating an additional form for the granting of the Royal Assent.
Under the Royal Assent Act (2002), however, the alternative practice of granting Assent in writing, with each House being notified separately, was introduced.
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