The Queen of the Commonwealth of Australia

Australasian Parliamentary Review, Vol. 16, No. 1, 2001

27 Pages Posted: 21 Jun 2008


This article argues that Australia became independent in 1901 at the time of the formation of the Commonwealth pursuant to Victoria's Royal Proclamation, enabled by the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act 1900 (UK). It argues that Victoria became Queen of Australia at that time, and that Australian governance legally and constitutionally was independent from the UK from that date. To the fact that politicians and judges and certain Vice-Regal colonial representatives continued to have a colonial mindset can be attributed the failure of political will to seize the fruits of independence immediately. Moreover, the judicial branch itself was steeped in colonial thinking, which also contributed to a backward-looking interpretation of the Australian Constitution. In addition, Australian constitutional monarchy was and is not determined by statute alone, but primarily by the common law of the monarchy, which in turn is interdependent with the binding of Sovereign and the Australian people through the oath of governance and the recognition of the person as monarch of the Australian peoples, which establishes mutual commitment and allegiance.

Keywords: Australian independence, constitutional law, common law, federation, colony, monarchy, coronation oath, Governor-General, oath, constitutional law, judiciary, Edmund Barton, Lord Hopetoun, Lord Tennyson, Queen Victoria, Queen Elizabeth

Suggested Citation

Kelly, Margaret R.L.L., The Queen of the Commonwealth of Australia. Australasian Parliamentary Review, Vol. 16, No. 1, 2001, Available at SSRN:

Margaret R.L.L. Kelly (Contact Author)

Macquarie Law School ( email )

Macquarie University
Balaclava Road, North Ryde NSW, 2109, Australia
Sydney, New South Wales 2109


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