Reserve powers

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In New Ingerland, the reserve powers are powers that may be exercised by the Sovereign without the approval of the government, and in particular the Prime Minister and Cabinet. The reserve powers form part of the unwritten conventions of the Constitution of New Ingerland, and are not explicitly defined anywhere.

Enumeration

The reserve powers have never been fully defined, and in theory are wide-ranging and infinite. However in practice, the powers are generally limited to the following:

  • To refuse to dissolve Parliament when requested by the Prime Minister;
  • To appoint a Prime Minister of his own choosing;
  • To dismiss a Prime Minister and his or her Government;
  • To summon and prorogue parliament;
  • To command the Armed Forces;
  • To dismiss and appoint Ministers;
  • To commission officers in the Armed Forces
  • To appoint King's Counsel;
  • To issue and withdraw passports;
  • To create corporations via Charter;
  • To appoint Bishops of the Ingerian Church of New Ingerland;
  • To grant honours;
  • The power to grant Prerogative of Mercy;
  • To refuse the Royal Assent;
  • The power to declare War and Peace;
  • The power to deploy the Armed Forces overseas;
  • The power to ratify and make treaties.

Practice

With the exception of the appointment of the Prime Minister, the use of the reserve powers has always been rare in New Ingerland.

Where the power is exercised, the Privy Seal Act[1] requires that the Privy Seal is used alongside the Great Seal of New Ingerland to give the Sovereign's consent to any reserve power being exercised. The Privy seal is kept by the Lord Chancellor of New Ingerland, whilst the Great Seal is kept by the Prime Minister. This distinction dates back to before independence, when the Great Seal was kept by the British Resident, and was meant to ensure that the Sovereign and Resident could not act independently of one another.

References and notes

  1. Privy Seal Act (Public Act No. 12 of 1877).