Saturday, April 16, 2005

Who said there were no thoughts of abolishing the monarchy?

According to former MEP, professor and senior member of the Constitutional Convention that drew up the dreadful document Olivier Duhamel, the Constition has great significance in relation to the constitutional position of monarchs as heads of State. Talking on his monthly TV political column on the Frankenriech TV channel Arte, "Standpunkt" Duhamel pointed out that the EU is not only formally a republic, but there is supposed to be considerable citizen participation as well. In this regard the EU Constitution is of great significance to the future of European Monarchies. From what I understand he suggested that they would have to be stripped of any remaining Constitutional role as it would be incompatible with the democratic process. (Religious equality –Act of succession – male primogeniture )

I am aware that the Queen's position as Head of State of a bunch of Commonwaelth nations is covered in Article IV Para 3, but it does throw up awkward situations. Consider the Queen (EU citizen - thus governed by EU laws) appointing a Governor General of Australia; her Constitutional duty; according top a request from the Australian Prime Minister. Imagine that that appointment went counter to some yet unknown rule in the EU. Could the EU veto the appointment of the Governor, due it being done by an EU citizen?
Thus should Australia have a ratification process as it may find its own Constitution altered?
I only ask.


Anoneumouse said...

By the way, you may be surprised to learn, that our Sovereign Lady is not a citizen of the Europe Union. There is no Act of Parliament which says so, nothing in the British Nationality Act 1981 extends to the Crown. She is British, but not a British citizens as, she is also Canadian, Australian, Jamaican etc, therefore the vacuous provisions of Article 17 (8) ECT do not apply.


Mike said...

I'm not so sure.
EU citizenship is granted to all nationals (rather than citizens).
There is longstanding precedent for the sovereign being considered to be a national - for example the proceedings against Charles I relied on the fact that as King, Charles was English and therefore had a duty to the kingdom of England.
I can't see anything in the 1981 British Nationality Act that suggests that the Crown is excluded from its terms. Given the fact that the Queen was born before 1983, the 1948 British Nationality Act would apply. That Act automatically made anyone British citizens if either or both of their parent were British citiens. Therefore, if the Queen Mother was a British citizen, then the Queen would be unless there is anything within the 1948 Act to say otherwise.

Anoneumouse said...

Mike, I think you will find Charles I was born in Scotland, the second son of James VI of Scotland. So if we were to attribute any nationality to him it would have been Scottish?!! However, this country had no nationality law until the coming into force, on 1 January 1915, of the British Nationality & Status of Aliens Act 1914. The Act conferred the common status of British subject upon those persons who had specified connections with the Crown's dominions. The status of British subject implied allegiance to the Crown. The British Nationality Act 1948 did not extend nationality or citizenship to the monarchy either.

Mike said...

That's the point - even though he had been born outside of England, as an English king (albeit also king of Scotland) he was an English national and therefore owed an allegiance to England.
As I said above, the 1948 Nationality Act extended the category of British citizen to all those born to a British citizen. As at least one of the Queen's parents was a British citizen, and in the absence of any provsion that specifically excludes the sovereign, the Queen is a British national and therefore an EU citizen.
You will also notice that both the 1948 and 1981 Acts allow for multiple nationality.