Aussie Riddle

Queen May Lose Sovereignty Over Australia, Academic Claims

True Royalists love constitutional conundrums, so it is with great joy we reveal that there is an argument that the Queen could automatically lose sovereignty over Australia if Scotland votes to become independent in a referendum on the issue to be held in 2014, thanks to a bizarre constitutional technicality.

David Denton, a senior counsel and adjunct professor of law at Victoria University in Melbourne, has urged constitutional monarchists and republicans to "renew the debate on Australia's future constitutional framework with some urgency" as "an independent Scotland may yet create an Australian republic".Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond has pledged to retain the Queen as head of state of an independent Scotland, but Mr Denton believes Scottish independence could create "an Australian constitutional vacuum" if the United Kingdom that existed when the Australian federation was agreed in 1900 ceases to exist.Writing in Australian newspaper The Herald Sun, he said: "The UK itself is the sovereign state under international law. It was under this single UK that we Australians agreed to federate in 1900 under our constitution."The Australian constitution is unequivocal in that it united the Australian people under the crown of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and (now) Northern Ireland.""The United Kingdom (that) Australians agreed to federate under will no longer exist. A UK which is de jure separated is not the UK for Australian constitutional purposes."It is possible to envisage an Australian constitutional vacuum existing if our UK ceases to exist.”