Chapter 20 - Relations with the judiciary

Discretion of the Governor-General

It is also not settled whether the Governor‑General in Council would be bound to act in accordance with an address by both Houses. It is generally thought that, because the Australian Houses act on proved grounds, their address should be binding.

One of the Parliamentary Commissioners, however, took the view that section 72 preserves the Crown’s discretion to act upon an address.

The question is somewhat academic, because for the House of Representatives to agree to an address the agreement of the ministry would be required, that House being controlled by the ministry, and therefore the Governor-General, advised by the ministry, would probably accept an address on ministerial advice.

As in relation to many other matters, therefore, the power would in practice be possessed by the ministry alone, but for the Senate.

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