Regina v Foreign Secretary ex parte Indian Association of Alberta: CA 1982

The court traced the transformation of the doctrine of the indivisibility of the crown to the modern docrtrine of divisibility. May LJ: ‘Although at one time it was correct to describe the Crown as one and indivisible, with the development of the Commonwealth this is no longer so. Although there is only one person who is the Sovereign within the British Commonwealth, it is now a truism that in matters of law and government the Queen of the United Kingdom, for example, is entirely independent and distinct from the Queen of Canada. Further, the Crown is a constitutional monarchy and thus when one speaks today, and as was frequently done in the course of the argument on this application, of the Crown ‘in right of Canada’ or of some other territory within the Commonwealth, this is only a short way of referring to the Crown acting through and on the advice of Her Ministers in Canada or in that other territory within the Commonwealth.’


May LJ


[1982] QB 892, [1982] 2 All ER 118, [1982] 2 WLR 641


England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedFitzgibbon v HM Attorney General ChD 9-Feb-2005
The claimant sought declarations that the government of Australia was not being conducted in accordance with the 1900 Act as it should be.
Held: Though the Act was an English Act, the Courts of England now have no jurisdiction over Australia: . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Updated: 09 May 2022; Ref: scu.222626