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A constitutional convention is an informal and uncodified procedural agreement that is followed by the institutions of a state. In some states, notably those
Commonwealth of Nations The Commonwealth of Nations, generally known simply as the Commonwealth, is a political association of 54 member states, almost all of which are former territories A territory is an administrative division, usually an area that is under the ...

Commonwealth of Nations
states that follow the
Westminster system The Westminster system or Westminster model is a type of parliamentary A parliamentary system or parliamentary democracy is a system of democratic Democrat, Democrats, or Democratic may refer to: *A proponent of democracy Democracy ...
and whose political systems derive from British constitutional law, most government functions are guided by constitutional convention rather than by a formal written constitution. In these states, actual distribution of power may be markedly different from those the formal constitutional documents describe. In particular, the formal constitution often confers wide discretionary powers on the
head of state A head of state (or chief of state) is the public persona A persona (plural personae or personas), depending on the context, can refer to either the public image of one's personality, or the social role that one adopts, or a fictional ch ...
that, in practice, are used only on the advice of the
head of government The head of government is either the highest or second-highest official in the executive Executive may refer to: Role, title, or function * Executive (government), branch of government that has authority and responsibility for the administrat ...
, and in some cases not at all. Some constitutional conventions operate separate from or alongside written constitutions, such as in Canada since the country was formed with the enactment of the
Constitution Act, 1867 The ''Constitution Act, 1867'The Constitution Act, 1867'', 30 & 31 Victoria (U.K.), c. 3, http://canlii.ca/t/ldsw retrieved on 2019-03-14. (french: Loi constitutionnelle de 1867, originally enacted as ''The British North America Act, 1867' ...
. In others, notably the United Kingdom, which lack a single overarching constitutional document, unwritten conventions are still of vital importance in understanding how the state functions. In most states, however, many old conventions have been replaced or superseded by laws (called
codification Codification may refer to: *Codification (law), the process of preparing and enacting a legal code *Codification (linguistics), the process of selecting, developing and prescribing a model for standard language usage *Accounting Standards Codificati ...
).


Definitions

The term was first used by British legal scholar A. V. Dicey in his 1883 book, ''Introduction to the Study of the Law of the Constitution''. Dicey wrote that in Britain, the actions of political actors and institutions are governed by two parallel and complementary sets of rules: A century later, Canadian scholar
Peter Hogg Peter Wardell Hogg (12 March 1939 – 4 February 2020) was a Canadian legal scholar and lawyer A lawyer or attorney is a person who practices law, as an advocate, attorney at lawAttorney at law or attorney-at-law, usually abbreviated in ...
wrote,


Origins

Constitutional conventions arise when the exercise of a certain type of power, which is not prohibited by law, arouses such opposition that it becomes impossible, on future occasions, to engage in further exercises of this power. For example, the constitutional convention that the
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom The prime minister of the United Kingdom is the head of government The head of government is either the highest or second-highest official in the Executive (government), executive branch of a sovereign state, a federated state, or a ...
cannot remain in office without the support of a majority of votes the House of Commons is derived from an unsuccessful attempt by the ministry of
Robert Peel Sir Robert Peel, 2nd Baronet, (5 February 1788 – 2 July 1850) was a British Conservative Party (UK), Conservative statesman who served twice as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (1834–1835 and 1841–1846) simultaneously serving as Cha ...

Robert Peel
to govern without the support of a majority in the House, in 1834–1835.


Enforceability in the courts

Constitutional conventions are not, and cannot be, enforced by courts of law. The primary reason for this, according to the
Supreme Court of Canada Supreme may refer to: * Supreme (brand), a clothing brand based in New York * Supreme (comics), a comic book superhero * Supreme (cookery), a term used in cookery * Supreme (film), ''Supreme'' (film), a 2016 Telugu film * Supreme (producer), hip-h ...

Supreme Court of Canada
in its 1981
Patriation Reference ''Reference Re Resolution to amend the Constitution'' – also known as the Patriation Reference – is a historic Supreme Court of Canada Reference question, reference case that occurred during negotiations for the patriation of the Const ...
, is that, "They are generally in conflict with the legal rules which they postulate and the courts may be bound to enforce the legal rules." More precisely, the conventions make certain acts, which would be permissible under a straightforward reading of the law, impermissible in practice. The court ruled that this conflict between convention and law means that no convention, no matter how well-established or universally accepted, can "crystallize" into law, unless the relevant parliament or legislature enacts a law or constitutional amendment codifying for a convention at which must specify request and consensus' for enactment. This principle is regarded as authoritative in a number of other jurisdictions, including the UK. Some conventions evolve or change over time. For example, before 1918 the British
Cabinet Cabinet or The Cabinet may refer to: Furniture * Cabinetry, a box-shaped piece of furniture with doors and/or drawers * Display cabinet, a piece of furniture with one or more transparent glass sheets or transparent polycarbonate sheets * Filing ...
requested a parliamentary dissolution from the monarch, with the Prime Minister conveying the request. Between 1918 and 2011, Prime Ministers requested dissolutions on their own initiative, and were not required to consult members of the Cabinet (although, at the very least, it would have been unusual for the Cabinet not to be aware of the Prime Minister's intention). However, conventions are rarely ever broken. Unless there is general agreement on the breach, the person who breaches a convention is often heavily criticised, on occasions leading to a loss of respect or popular support.


Examples


Australia

* Whoever can command a majority in the House of Representatives is entitled to be asked by the Governor-General to form a government, and take the title Prime Minister. * Governors-General always act on the advice of their Prime Minister or other relevant minister in regard to particular powers they may exercise. * An incumbent Prime Minister who loses an election will advise the Governor-General to appoint the leader of the larger party as Prime Minister so the Governor-General does not need to act alone. * State Premiers tender advice to State Governors for Federal Senate elections, in response to the Prime Minister's advice to the Governor-General to call a Federal House of Representatives election. * State Governors are given a
dormant commission A dormant commission is a commission Commission or commissioning may refer to: Business and contracting * Commission (remuneration), a form of payment to an agent for services rendered ** Commission (art), the purchase or the creation of a piece ...
to administer the Commonwealth if the Governor-General is unable to. * Vice-regal officers act in a politically neutral way. No convention is absolute; all but one (the second) of the above conventions were disregarded in the leadup to or during the constitutional crisis of 1975. Ignoring constitutional conventions does not always result in a crisis. After the
2010 Tasmanian state election The 2010 Tasmanian state election was held on 20 March 2010 to elect members to the Tasmanian House of Assembly. The 12-year incumbent Australian Labor Party (Tasmanian Branch), Labor government, led by Premier of Tasmania David Bartlett, won a fo ...
, the Governor of Tasmania rejected the advice of his Premier to appoint the leader of the opposition as Premier because he felt the advice was tendered in bad faith. The Premier went on to form a new government.


Bosnia and Herzegovina

* The six members of the
Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina , image = Predsjedništvo_BiH_(2989421535).jpg , imagesize = 220px , caption = Building of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, seat of the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina , established = , country = , location = Sarajevo , ...
, that are chosen by the Parliaments of entities of
Bosnia and Herzegovina Bosnia and Herzegovina,, abbreviated BiH or B&H, sometimes called Bosnia–Herzegovina and often known informally as Bosnia, is a country in South South is one of the cardinal directions or compass points. South is the opposite of north a ...

Bosnia and Herzegovina
, should be chosen in a way as to establish the national balance, of "constituent peoples", in the Court (two
Bosniaks The Bosniaks or Bosniacs ( bs, Bošnjaci, ; , ) are a and native to the an of , which is today part of . A native minority of Bosniaks live in other countries in the ; especially in the region of and (where Bosniaks form a regional ...
, two
Croatian Croatian may refer to: *Croatia *Croatian cuisine *Croatian language *Croatian name *Croats, people from Croatia, or of Croatian descent *Citizens of Croatia, see demographics of Croatia See also

* Croatia (disambiguation) * Serbo-Croatian (di ...

Croatian
s and two
Serb The Serbs ( sr, Срби, Srbi, ) are a South Slavic ethnic group An ethnic group or ethnicity is a grouping of people who identify with each other on the basis of shared attributes that distinguish them from other groups such as a commo ...
s), although the
Constitution A constitution is an aggregate of fundamental principles A principle is a proposition or value that is a guide for behavior or evaluation. In law, it is a rule Rule or ruling may refer to: Human activity * The exercise of political ...
does not have this requirement. * The Chairman of the
Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina The Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina ( Bosnian/Croatian: ''Vijeće ministara Bosne i Hercegovine'', sr, Савјет министара Босне и Херцеговине), often called Bosnian Government ( bs, Vlada Bosne i Herc ...
should be of different nationality in every new term (establishing the "rotation"), although this is not formally regulated. * The government of an
entity An entity is something that exists as itself, as a subject or as an object, actually or potentially, concretely or abstractly, physically or not. It need not be of material existence. In particular, abstraction Abstraction in its main sense is ...
should inform the
government of Bosnia and Herzegovina The Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Bosnian language, Bosnian/Croatian language, Croatian: ''Vijeće ministara Bosne i Hercegovine'', sr, Савјет министара Босне и Херцеговине), often called Bosnian ...
of its intention to establish special parallel relationships with neighboring states, including negotiations. Also, the
High Representative The High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (HR/VP) is the chief co-ordinator and representative of the Common Foreign and Security Policy The Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) is the organised, agree ...
should be notified of any such intent, especially if there is a document that should be signed between parties, although the
Constitution A constitution is an aggregate of fundamental principles A principle is a proposition or value that is a guide for behavior or evaluation. In law, it is a rule Rule or ruling may refer to: Human activity * The exercise of political ...
does not have this requirement (also for first example).


Canada

* The Prime Minister will request the Governor General to call an election upon the defeat of the government in a confidence or money vote. This convention was broken in 1968 when the ruling
minority government A minority government, minority cabinet, minority administration, or a minority parliament is a and formed in a when a political party or of parties does not have a majority of overall seats in the . It is sworn into office, with or without ...
of
Lester B. Pearson
Lester B. Pearson
unexpectedly lost a money vote. All the parties in Parliament, who were not prepared for a snap election, agreed to pass a resolution retroactively declaring the lost money vote was not a matter of confidence. *Though it is mentioned in various constitutional documents, the precise nature of the office of the
Prime Minister A prime minister or a premier is the head of the cabinet Cabinet or The Cabinet may refer to: Furniture * Cabinetry, a box-shaped piece of furniture with doors and/or drawers * Display cabinet, a piece of furniture with one or more transpa ...
operates mostly according to understood, uncodified British conventions. * The
Supreme Court of Canada Supreme may refer to: * Supreme (brand), a clothing brand based in New York * Supreme (comics), a comic book superhero * Supreme (cookery), a term used in cookery * Supreme (film), ''Supreme'' (film), a 2016 Telugu film * Supreme (producer), hip-h ...

Supreme Court of Canada
is, by statute (the ''
Supreme Court Act The ''Supreme Court Act'' (the ''Act'') is an Act passed by the Parliament of Canada The Parliament of Canada (french: Parlement du Canada) is the Canadian federalism, federal legislature of Canada, seated at Parliament Hill in Ottawa, and is c ...
''), composed of three justices from
Quebec ) , image_shield=Armoiries du Québec.svg , image_flag=Flag of Quebec.svg , coordinates= , AdmittanceDate=July 1, 1867 , AdmittanceOrder=1st, with New Brunswick ("Hope restored") , image_map = New Brunswick in Canada 2.svg , ...

Quebec
and six from anywhere in Canada (including Quebec). This is because Quebec uses
civil law Civil law may refer to: * Civil law (common law) Civil law is a major branch of the law.Glanville Williams. ''Learning the Law''. Eleventh Edition. Stevens. 1982. p. 2. In common law legal systems such as England and Wales and the law of the United ...
rather than the common law system used elsewhere in Canada; it is necessary to have a panel of at least three judges to hear civil law cases. By convention, the remaining six positions are divided in the following manner: three from Ontario; two from the western provinces, typically one from British Columbia and one from the prairie provinces, which rotate amongst themselves (although Alberta is known to cause skips in the rotation); and one from the Atlantic provinces, almost always from Nova Scotia or New Brunswick. The appointment of the most senior puisne justice to chief justice is a convention that has recently fallen into disuse.


Commonwealth Realms

* The Governor-General is appointed on the advice of the Prime Minister of the day, is a resident of the country he or she will represent, and can be dismissed immediately on the advice of the Prime Minister (exceptions are
Papua New Guinea Papua New Guinea (PNG; , ; tpi, Papua Niugini; ho, Papua Niu Gini), officially the Independent State of Papua New Guinea ( tpi, Independen Stet bilong Papua Niugini; ho, Independen Stet bilong Papua Niu Gini), is a country in Oceania th ...

Papua New Guinea
and the
Solomon Islands Solomon Islands is a sovereign country A sovereign state is a political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective identity, who are organized by some form of Institutionalisation, in ...
, where the Governor-General is elected by Parliament and then formally appointed by the Queen, and the United Kingdom, which has no vice-regal office). However, in Canada, provincial lieutenant-governors are appointed on the advice of the federal prime minister, not the provincial premier. * Neither the Monarch nor a Governor-General will participate in the political process unless there is an extreme circumstance that merits the use of
reserve powers Reserve or reserves may refer to: Places * Reserve, Kansas Reserve is a city in Brown County, Kansas, Brown County, Kansas, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, 2010 census, the city population was 84. It is located approximate ...
, or when the advice tendered is contrary to established convention. * Neither the Monarch nor a Governor-General will make partisan speeches or state partisan opinions. This convention was broken in 1975 by Sir Colin Hannah, the
Governor of Queensland A governor is, in most cases, a public official with the power to govern the executive branch The executive is the branch of government exercising authority in and holding Moral responsibility, responsibility for the governance of a State (p ...
, who called for the defeat of the
Whitlam Government The Whitlam Government was the federal executive government of Australia led by Prime Minister Gough Whitlam Edward Gough Whitlam (; 11 July 191621 October 2014) was the 21st prime minister of Australia The prime minister of Australia ...
. The Queen, on Whitlam's advice, revoked Hannah's
dormant commission A dormant commission is a commission Commission or commissioning may refer to: Business and contracting * Commission (remuneration), a form of payment to an agent for services rendered ** Commission (art), the purchase or the creation of a piece ...
to act as Administrator of the Commonwealth of Australia and the
Foreign and Commonwealth Office The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) is a Departments of the United Kingdom Government, department of the Government of the United Kingdom. It was created on 2 September 2020 through the merger of the Foreign & Commonwealth Of ...
later refused the
Premier of Queensland The premier of Queensland is the head of government in the Australian state of Queensland. By convention the premier is the leader of the party with a parliamentary majority in the unicameral Legislative Assembly of Queensland. The premier is ap ...
's request that they advise the Queen to appoint Hannah to a second term as Governor (in 1975, Australian State Governors were still appointed on the advice of UK ministers).


Denmark

* The
Danish Constitution The Constitutional Act of the Realm of Denmark ( da, Danmarks Riges Grundlov), also known as the Constitutional Act of the Kingdom of Denmark, or simply the Constitution ( da, Grundloven, fo, Grundlógin, kl, Tunngaviusumik inatsit), is the con ...
makes reference to the King in great detail. Apart from the fact that this is understood to include a
Queen regnant A queen regnant (plural: queens regnant) is a female monarch, equivalent in rank and title to a king (title), king, who reigns in her own right over a realm known as a "kingdom"; as opposed to a queen consort, who is the wife of a reigning king ...
as well, references to the King acting in a political capacity are understood to mean the Prime Minister, as the Constitution stipulates that the King exercises his powers through the Cabinet. * According to the Constitution, any public expenditure must be provided for in the annual
money bill In the Westminster system The Westminster system or Westminster model is a type of parliamentary A parliamentary system or parliamentary democracy is a system of democratic Democrat, Democrats, or Democratic may refer to: *A proponent ...
or provisional money bills. However, although not provided for in the Constitution, according to constitutional custom, the Parliamentary Budgetary Committee has the power to authorise provisional expenditure, regardless of the fact that such expenditure is not formally included in the budget (such grants are however then marked for adoption in the next forthcoming money bill).


France

* If the
President President most commonly refers to: *President (corporate title) A president is a leader of an organization, company, community, club, trade union, university or other group. The relationship between a president and a Chief Executive Officer, chi ...
of the Republic and the
Prime Minister A prime minister or a premier is the head of the cabinet Cabinet or The Cabinet may refer to: Furniture * Cabinetry, a box-shaped piece of furniture with doors and/or drawers * Display cabinet, a piece of furniture with one or more transpa ...
are not from the same party, foreign affairs and defense are shared by the President and the government according to the constitution. * If the president of the
National Assembly In politics, a national assembly is either a unicameral In government, unicameralism (Latin , "one" and , "chamber") is the practice of having a single legislative or legislative chamber, parliamentary chamber. Thus, a ''unicameral parliam ...
, the president of the
Senate The Curia Julia in the Roman Forum ">Roman_Forum.html" ;"title="Curia Julia in the Roman Forum">Curia Julia in the Roman Forum A senate is a deliberative assembly, often the upper house or Debating chamber, chamber of a bicameral legislatu ...
or 60 deputies or 60 senators claim that a just-passed
statute A statute is a formal written enactment of a legislative A legislature is an assembly Assembly may refer to: Organisations and meetings * Deliberative assembly A deliberative assembly is a gathering of members (of any kind of collective) ...

statute
is unconstitutional, the President of the Republic does not sign the law and instead waits for a petition to be sent to the Constitutional Council.


Germany

* The
German Basic Law The Basic Law of the Federal Republic of Germany (german: Grundgesetz für die Bundesrepublik Deutschland) is the constitution A constitution is an aggregate of fundamental principles A principle is a proposition or value that is a g ...
does not provide for a formal mechanism of parliamentary self-dissolution. The chancellor can only be forced out of office through a
constructive vote of no confidenceThe constructive vote of no confidence (german: konstruktives Misstrauensvotum, es, moción de censura constructiva) is a variation on the motion of no confidence A motion of no confidence, vote of no confidence, or no confidence motion, sometimes ...
, however,
snap election Snap or SNAP may refer to: Arts and entertainment * ''Snap'' (film), the original release title for the 2013 film ''Enter the Dangerous Mind'' *''Snap'' (TV series), a CITV programme * ''Stanly News and Press'', a newspaper in Albemarle, North C ...
s were held in
1972 Within the context of Coordinated Universal Time Coordinated Universal Time or UTC is the primary time standard A time standard is a specification for measuring time: either the rate at which time passes; or points in time; or both. ...
,
1983 The year 1983 saw both the contested beginning of the Internet The Internet (or internet) is the global system of interconnected computer networks that uses the Internet protocol suite (TCP/IP) to communicate between networks and d ...
and 2005 by the chancellor deliberately losing a vote of confidence and then asking the president to dissolve the Bundestag - a request which was granted in each case but was controversial in 2005. * The
President of Germany The president of Germany, officially the Federal President of the Federal Republic of Germany (german: Bundespräsident der Bundesrepublik Deutschland),The official title within Germany is ', with ' being added in international correspondence; ...
is not required to renounce his political affiliation, but since the founding of the Federal Republic in 1949 all presidents have let their party membership "rest" for the duration of their time in office while
Joachim Gauck Joachim Wilhelm Gauck (; born 24 January 1940) is a German politician and civil rights activist who served as President of Germany from 2012 to 2017. A former Lutheranism, Lutheran pastor, he came to prominence as an anti-communist Civil and polit ...
hadn't been a member of any party even prior to taking office. This "resting" party membership was tacitly approved by
CDU/CSU CDU/CSU, unofficially the Union parties (german: Unionsparteien) or the Union, is the Centre-right politics, centre-right Christian-democratic political alliance of two List of political parties in Germany, political parties in Germany: the Christi ...
and
SPD The Social Democratic Party of Germany (german: Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands, ; SPD, ) is a social democratic political party in Germany. It is one of the two major parties of contemporary Germany along with the CDU/CSU, Union parties ...
for presidents who had been members or their parties even though their party rules and bylaws do not provide for such a mechanism. * Similar to the provisions about monarchs in many parliamentary monarchies the Basic Law formally grants the President powers to be exercised "on the advice of" Parliament or the government which are in practice never exercised by the President without clear direction from those bodies * The Basic Law only specifies ''how'' a chancellor is to be elected, not ''who'' is eligible. With one exception (
Kurt Georg Kiesinger Kurt Georg Kiesinger (; 6 April 1904 – 9 March 1988) was a German politician who served as Chancellor of Germany The chancellor of Germany, officially the federal chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany (german: Bundeskanzler(:wikt:-in#G ...

Kurt Georg Kiesinger
) all chancellors thus far have been members of the Bundestag, even though that is not a requirement for election or serving. Similarly the office of "candidate for chancellor" which is usually nominated by major parties (
SPD The Social Democratic Party of Germany (german: Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands, ; SPD, ) is a social democratic political party in Germany. It is one of the two major parties of contemporary Germany along with the CDU/CSU, Union parties ...
and
CDU/CSU CDU/CSU, unofficially the Union parties (german: Unionsparteien) or the Union, is the Centre-right politics, centre-right Christian-democratic political alliance of two List of political parties in Germany, political parties in Germany: the Christi ...
but also FDP in
2002 2002 was designated as the International Year of Ecotourism and the International Year of Mountains. Events January * January 1 ** The Treaty on Open Skies, Open Skies mutual surveillance treaty, initially signed in 1992, officially enters ...
and
the Greens The Greens or Greens may refer to: Current political parties *Australian Greens The Australian Greens, commonly known as The Greens, are a confederation A confederation (also known as a confederacy or league) is a union of sovereign gr ...
in
2021 2021 is scheduled to host most major events that were originally scheduled for 2020, including the 2020 CONCACAF Nations League Finals, Eurovision Song Contest 2021, Eurovision Song Contest, UEFA Euro 2020, 2020 Summer Olympics, 2021 Copa Améri ...
) has no legal relevance and is not legally a precondition for being elected chancellor. * Virtually all customs and informal rules regarding
coalition agreement In multiparty democracies, a coalition agreement is an agreement between the parties that form the government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a State (polity), state. In the ...
s are based on convention rather than formal rules. Some are even in apparent conflict with the text of the constitution. The '' :de:Koalitionsausschuss'' ("coalition committee") which was first acknowledged to exist during the
First Erhard cabinet The first Erhard cabinet was the government of Germany The Federal Cabinet or Federal Government (german: Bundeskabinett or ') is the chief Executive (government), executive body of the Germany, Federal Republic of Germany. It consists of the Ch ...
is a method of resolving potential conflicts within a governing coalition that has been criticized as "circumventing" parliament and the cabinet as means to discuss and resolve such issues. * The
President of the Bundestag #REDIRECT President of the Bundestag#REDIRECT President of the Bundestag President most commonly refers to: *President (corporate title) A president is a leader of an organization, company, community, club, trade union, university or other group ...
is a member of the biggest faction, even if that faction is otherwise in opposition. This is one of few constitutional conventions already in place during the
Weimar Republic The Weimar Republic (german: Weimarer Republik ) was the German state from 1918 to 1933 when it functioned as a federal constitutional republic. The state was officially named the German Reich (german: Deutsches Reich, link=no, label=none), ...
and still followed today


Lebanon

* The Lebanese constitution states that the
President of Lebanon The president of the Lebanese Republic is the head of state of Lebanon. The president is elected by the Parliament of Lebanon, parliament for a term of six years, which is not immediately renewable. By convention, the president is always a Maronit ...
is elected by a simple majority of the
Parliament of Lebanon The Lebanese Parliament ( ar, مجلس النواب ''Majlis an-Nuwwab''; french: Chambre des députés) is the national parliament In modern politics and history, a parliament is a legislative body of government. Generally, a modern ...

Parliament of Lebanon
. However, due to the country's delicate ethnic balance, the Parliament's various factions usually try to agree on a consensus candidate. * Under the unwritten
National Pact The National Pact ( ar, الميثاق الوطني) is an unwritten agreement that laid the foundation of Lebanon Lebanon (), officially known as the Lebanese Republic,''Republic of Lebanon'' is the most common phrase used by Lebanese gove ...
, the president must always be a
Maronite Christian Lebanese Maronite Christians ( ar, المسيحية المارونية في لبنان, syc, ܡܫܝܚܝ̈ܐ ܡܪ̈ܘܢܝܐ ܕܠܒܢܢ) refers to Lebanese people who are adherents of the Maronite Church in Lebanon, which is the largest Christian ...
; the
prime minister A prime minister or a premier is the head of the cabinet Cabinet or The Cabinet may refer to: Furniture * Cabinetry, a box-shaped piece of furniture with doors and/or drawers * Display cabinet, a piece of furniture with one or more transpa ...
a
Sunni Muslim Sunni Islam () is by far the largest branch A branch ( or , ) or tree branch (sometimes referred to in botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science of plant life and a branch of biology. A botanist, ...
; the speaker of Parliament a
Shia Muslim Shia Islam or Shi'ism is the second largest branch The branches and leaves of a tree. A branch ( or , ) or tree branch (sometimes referred to in botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science of plant life a ...
; and the deputy speaker
Greek Orthodox The Greek Orthodox Church (Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population ...
.


Malaysia

* At the federal level, the
King King is the title given to a male monarch in a variety of contexts. The female equivalent is queen regnant, queen, which title is also given to the queen consort, consort of a king. *In the context of prehistory, antiquity and contempora ...
acts on the
Prime Minister A prime minister or a premier is the head of the cabinet Cabinet or The Cabinet may refer to: Furniture * Cabinetry, a box-shaped piece of furniture with doors and/or drawers * Display cabinet, a piece of furniture with one or more transpa ...
's advice, except on certain cases. At the state level, the respective ruler or governor acts on his Chief Minister's advice. * At the federal level, the
Prime Minister A prime minister or a premier is the head of the cabinet Cabinet or The Cabinet may refer to: Furniture * Cabinetry, a box-shaped piece of furniture with doors and/or drawers * Display cabinet, a piece of furniture with one or more transpa ...
is the leader of the party with an absolute majority of seats in the
Dewan Rakyat The Dewan Rakyat (Malay language, Malay for 'House of Representatives'; ) is the lower house of the Bicameralism, bicameral Parliament of Malaysia, Parliament, the federal legislature of Malaysia. The chamber and its powers are established by A ...

Dewan Rakyat
(House of Representatives) and therefore most likely to command the support of the
Dewan Rakyat The Dewan Rakyat (Malay language, Malay for 'House of Representatives'; ) is the lower house of the Bicameralism, bicameral Parliament of Malaysia, Parliament, the federal legislature of Malaysia. The chamber and its powers are established by A ...

Dewan Rakyat
; and likewise a Chief Minister, the leader of the party with an absolute majority of seats in a State Legislature and therefore most likely to command the support of such State Legislature. * The
Prime Minister A prime minister or a premier is the head of the cabinet Cabinet or The Cabinet may refer to: Furniture * Cabinetry, a box-shaped piece of furniture with doors and/or drawers * Display cabinet, a piece of furniture with one or more transpa ...
should be a member of the
Dewan Rakyat The Dewan Rakyat (Malay language, Malay for 'House of Representatives'; ) is the lower house of the Bicameralism, bicameral Parliament of Malaysia, Parliament, the federal legislature of Malaysia. The chamber and its powers are established by A ...

Dewan Rakyat
. * The
Speaker of the Dewan Rakyat The Speaker of the House of Representatives ( ms, Yang di-Pertua Dewan Rakyat) is the highest-ranking presiding officer of the Dewan Rakyat The Dewan Rakyat ( Malay for 'House of Representatives'; ) is the lower house of the bicameral Parliam ...
chairs the Joint Session of
Parliament In modern politics and history, a parliament is a legislative A legislature is an assembly Assembly may refer to: Organisations and meetings * Deliberative assembly A deliberative assembly is a gathering of members (of any kind of ...
, where the King addresses both
Dewan Negara The Dewan Negara (English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, which has eventually become ...
(Senate) and
Dewan Rakyat The Dewan Rakyat (Malay language, Malay for 'House of Representatives'; ) is the lower house of the Bicameralism, bicameral Parliament of Malaysia, Parliament, the federal legislature of Malaysia. The chamber and its powers are established by A ...

Dewan Rakyat
.


New Zealand

There is a convention that the
Prime Minister of New Zealand The prime minister of New Zealand ( mi, Te pirimia o Aotearoa) is the head of government The head of government is either the highest or second highest official in the executive branch of a sovereign state, a federated state, or a self-go ...
should not ask for an early election unless he or she is unable to maintain
confidence and supply In a parliamentary democracy A parliamentary system or parliamentary democracy is a system of democracy, democratic government, governance of a sovereign state, state (or subordinate entity) where the Executive (government), executive de ...
. By the 1950s, it had also become a convention that elections should be held on the last Saturday of November, or the closest date to this range as possible. There are several times when these conventions have been broken and an election has been held several months earlier: * 1951 general election:
Sidney Holland Sir Sidney George Holland (18 October 1893 – 5 August 1961) was a New Zealand politician who served as the 25th prime minister of New Zealand from 13 December 1949 to 20 September 1957. He was instrumental in the creation and consolidation o ...
called the election to get a mandate to face down a dockworks dispute. The government was returned to power with an increased majority; by this time the dispute had been resolved. * 1984 general election:
Robert Muldoon Sir Robert David Muldoon (; 25 September 19215 August 1992) was a New Zealand politician who served as the 31st 31 (thirty-one) is the natural number following thirty, 30 and preceding 32 (number), 32. It is a prime number. In mathematics ...
's government held a narrow four-seat majority in Parliament. Muldoon hoped to strengthen his leadership, as two backbenchers (
Marilyn Waring Dame Marilyn Joy Waring (born 7 October 1952) is a New Zealand public policy scholar, international development International development or global development is a broad concept denoting the idea that societies and countries have differing ...

Marilyn Waring
and Mike Minogue) were threatening to rebel against the government in an opposition-sponsored anti-nuclear bill. However, Waring and Minogue had not threatened to block confidence and supply. The election was a decisive defeat for the government. *2002 New Zealand general election, 2002 general election: Helen Clark called the election after the collapse of the Alliance (New Zealand political party), Alliance, her coalition partners. Some critics argued that the government could still maintain confidence and supply and therefore the early election was not necessary. The Labour Party remained in power with two different coalition partners.


Norway

Because of the 1814 written constitution's pivotal role in providing independence and establishing democracy in the 19th century, the Norwegian parliament has been very reluctant to change it. Few of the developments in the political system that have been taking place since then have been codified as amendments. This reluctance has been labelled constitutional conservatism. The two most important examples of constitutional conventions in the Politics of Norway, Norwegian political system are parliamentarism and the declining power of the King. * Parliamentarism has evolved since 1884 and entails that the cabinet must maintain the support of parliament (an absence of mistrust) but it need not have its express support. * All new laws are passed and all new cabinets are therefore formed in a de jure fashion by the King, although not necessarily in a de facto sense. * According to the written constitution, the cabinet (council of ministers) are appointed by the King. The appointment of new cabinets by the King is a formality, and the king has not directly exercised executive powers since 1905.


Spain

Much of Spain's political framework is codified in the Spanish Constitution of 1978, which formalizes the relationship between an independent constitutional Monarchy of Spain, monarchy, the government, and the legislature. However, the constitution invests the monarch as the "arbitrator and moderator of the institutions" of government. * The King nominates a candidate to stand for the Spanish Prime Minister, Presidency of the Government of Spain, sometimes known in English as 'prime minister'. The nominee then stands before the Congress of Deputies and presents his political agenda for the upcoming legislative term, followed by a Indirect election, vote of confidence in the nominee and his agenda. The 1978 constitution allows the King to nominate anyone he sees fit to stand for the vote of confidence so long as the King has met with the political party leaders represented in the Congress beforehand. However, King Juan Carlos I has consistently nominated the political party leader who commands a plurality of seats in the Congress of Deputies. * The Spanish public perception that the monarchy be politically non-partisan in its adherence to constitutional protocol and convention, yet while protecting the public expression of personal political views by members of the royal family. Expressions of personal political views expressed in public include when the Prince of Asturias and his sisters protested against terrorism following the 2004 Madrid bombings, or when the Queen gave controversial political viewpoints during an informal interview. * Constitutionally, the King appoints the twenty members to the General Council of the Judicial Power of Spain. However, when a vacancy is observed the King's appointment has been customarily on the advice of the government of the day. Additionally, the King appoints the President of the Supreme Court on the advice of the General Council of the Judicial Power of Spain. * According to the 1978 constitution, grandee and nobility titles, and civil and military decorations, are awarded by the King as head of state. However, in most cases since 1978, the King's appointment of nobility titles have been countersigned by the President of the Government of Spain, with civil awards having been nominated by the President and military awards having been nominated by the military.


Switzerland

The following constitutional conventions are part of the political culture of Switzerland. They hold true at the federal level and mostly so at the cantonal and communal level. Mostly, they aim to reconcile the democratic principle of majority rule with the need to achieve consensus in a nation that is much more heterogeneous in many respects than other nation-states. * The government is a body of equals composed in Concordance system, political proportion to the weight of the various factions in Parliament; this creates a permanent grand coalition. For most of the post-war era, the composition of the Federal Council was fixed by the so-called magic formula * Members of a collective body, including the Swiss Federal Council, federal government, observe collegiality at all times, that is, they do not publicly criticise one another. They also publicly support all decisions of the collective, even against their own opinion or that of their political party. In the eye of many observers, this convention has become rather strained at the federal level, at least after the 2003 elections to the Swiss Federal Council. * The President (government title), presidency of a collective body, particularly a government, rotates yearly; the president is a primus inter pares.


United Kingdom

While the United Kingdom does not have a written constitution that is a single document, the collection of legal instruments that have developed into a body of law known as constitutional law has existed for hundreds of years. As part of this uncodified British constitution, constitutional conventions play a key role. They are rules that are observed by the various constituted parts though they are not written in any document having legal authority; there are often underlying enforcing principles that are themselves not formal and codified. Nonetheless it is very unlikely that there would be a departure of such conventions without good reason, even if an underlying enforcing principle has been overtaken by history, as these conventions also acquire the force of custom. Examples include: * The texts of most international treaties are laid before Parliament at least twenty one days before ratification (the 'Ponsonby Rule' of 1924). This convention was codified by the Constitutional Reform and Governance Act 2010. * The monarch will accept and act on the advice of their ministers, who are responsible to Parliament for that advice; the monarch does not ignore that advice, except when exercising
reserve powers Reserve or reserves may refer to: Places * Reserve, Kansas Reserve is a city in Brown County, Kansas, Brown County, Kansas, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, 2010 census, the city population was 84. It is located approximate ...
. * The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Prime Minister is leader of the political party, party (or coalition of parties) with an absolute majority of seats in the British House of Commons, House of Commons and therefore most likely to command the support of the House of Commons. ** Where no party or coalition has an absolute majority, the leader of the party with the most seats in the Commons is given the first opportunity to seek to form a government. This convention was asserted by Nick Clegg, leader of the Liberal Democrat party, to justify seeking a coalition with the Conservatives instead of Labour (who additionally would not have been able to form a majority) in the hung parliament following the 2010 United Kingdom general election, 2010 general election. * All money bills must originate in the British House of Commons, House of Commons. * The monarch grants royal assent to all legislation – sometimes characterised as all legislation passed in good faith. It is possible that ministers could advise against giving consent, as happens with the Crown dependencies (convention since the early 18th century – previously monarchs did refuse or withhold royal assent). * The Prime Minister should be a member of either House of Parliament (between the 18th century and 1963). ** By 1963 this convention had evolved to the effect that no Prime Minister should come from the House of Lords, due to the Lords' lack of democratic legitimacy. When the last Prime Minister peer, the Earl of Home, took office he renounced his peerage, and as Sir Alec Douglas-Home became an MP. ** The Prime Minister can hold office temporarily whilst not a Member of Parliament, for example during a general election or, in the case of Douglas-Home, between resigning from the Lords and being elected to the Commons in a by-election. * All Cabinet members must be members of the Privy Council of the United Kingdom, Privy Council, since the cabinet is a committee of the council. Further, certain senior Loyal Opposition shadow cabinet members are also made Privy Counsellors, so that sensitive information may be shared with them "on Privy Council terms". * The House of Lords should not reject a budget passed by the House of Commons. This was broken controversially in 1909 by the House of Lords, which argued that the Convention was linked to another Convention that the Commons would not introduce a Bill that 'attacked' peers and their wealth. The Lords claimed that the Commons broke this Convention in Chancellor of the Exchequer David Lloyd George's "People's Budget", justifying the Lords' rejection of the budget. The Commons disputed the existence of a linked convention. As a consequence, the Lords' powers over budgets were greatly lessened, including by removing their power to reject a bill, by the Parliament Act 1911. * During a Elections in the United Kingdom#General elections, general election, no major party shall put up an opponent against a Speaker of the House of Commons (United Kingdom), Speaker seeking re-election. This convention was not respected during the 1987 general election, when both the Labour Party (UK), Labour Party and the Social Democratic Party (UK), Social Democratic Party fielded candidates against the Conservative Speaker, Bernard Weatherill, who was MP for Croydon North East (UK Parliament constituency), Croydon North East. The Scottish National Party (SNP) does stand against the Speaker if he or she represents a Scottish Westminster constituencies, Scottish constituency, as was the case with Michael Martin, Baron Martin of Springburn, Michael Martin, Speaker from 2000 to 2009. * The Westminster Parliament will only legislate with respect to Scotland on reserved and excepted matters, reserved matters. It will not legislate on non-reserved matters ('devolved matters') without first seeking the consent of the Scottish Parliament (since 1999, the Sewel motion, Sewel convention, later renamed to legislative consent motions). * The House of Lords shall not oppose legislation from the House of Commons that was a part of the government's manifesto (the Salisbury convention).


United States

*The President of the United States will give his State of the Union address in person, before a joint session of Congress, and will do so every year except the first year of a new term (in which the President's United States presidential inauguration#Inaugural address, inaugural address stands loosely in its stead). This practice was followed by George Washington and John Adams but abandoned by Thomas Jefferson and not resumed until 1913, when Woodrow Wilson delivered his State of the Union address in person. The constitution requires the President give an update on the state of the union "from time to time", but no specifics are outlined. Speeches have been broadcast on radio since 1923 and 1947; the last State of the Union message delivered only in writing was in 1981 by Jimmy Carter during his Lame duck (politics), Lame Duck period. *Much of how the United States Cabinet operates is dictated by convention; its operations are only vaguely alluded to in the US constitution. *While members of the United States House of Representatives are only required to live in the state they represent, it has generally been expected that they live in the district they represent as well, though there are some exceptions; Allen West (politician), Allen West was elected in 2010 representing a district adjacent to the one he resided in. *The President of the United States will obtain the Senatorial courtesy, consent of both Senators from a state before appointing a United States Attorney, United States district court, federal district judge, or federal marshal with jurisdiction in that state. *Cabinet officials and other major executive officers resign and are replaced when a new President takes office, unless explicitly asked to stay on by the new President. *The Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, Speaker of the House is always the Representative who leads the majority party, even though the Constitution does not specify that the Speaker must be a member of the chamber. Also by custom the Speaker does not vote (except to break a tie). *The President pro tempore of the United States Senate is the Seniority in the United States Senate, seniormost Senator of the majority party. *Members of the Electoral College (United States), Electoral College are pledged to vote for a particular Presidential candidate, and are chosen by popular vote with the name of the candidate, and not necessarily the elector, on the ballot. *Senate rules require a majority of 60 votes to invoke cloture, that is, to break off debate on a bill and force a vote. The Senate could revise its rules at any time, and the rules for each session of the House and Senate are typically set at the beginning of each elected Congress. In the Senate, under the current rules, the filibuster is available as a tool for a large-enough minority to indefinitely block any measure it finds objectionable.


See also

*Lapsed power *History of the United States Constitution, Constitutional Convention (United States) *Constitutional Convention (Australia) *Convention on the Future of Europe, European Convention *Scottish Constitutional Convention *Constituent Assembly *Constitutional Commission


References


Bibliography

*Brazier, R. (1992) ''Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly'' 43, 262 * * *http://www.connorcourt.com/catalog1/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=390#.V-Bh2TF--Uk . * * {{DEFAULTSORT:Constitutional Convention (Political Custom) Constitutional law Traditions Legal doctrines and principles