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Queen Elizabeth II has passed away

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Whatever your views on the Monarchy, the passing of Her Majesty is undoubtedly a most significant occasion.

It is indeed history in the making with few people knowing life without the Queen.

The end of the Queen’s reign has certainly triggered a “What happens now?” moment.

To mark the Queen’s passing, there are numerous ceremonial traditions observed from flags being flown at half-mast, days of mourning declared and condolences expressed from world leaders.

What does it mean, however, in “legal terms” for Australia?

The United Kingdom is the source of Australia’s rule of law.

The Australian transition from the Queen to King Charles III therefore adopts the British position with Charles becoming the Monarch from the moment of his mother’s death.

Importantly, the death of the Queen does not render existing laws invalid, nor does it require Public Officers to re-swear their oath.

As well as Australia’s Parliament not sitting, there will be some symbolic – rather than legally required – changes, such as new:

  • insignia for police and military personnel; and
  • passports and legal currency reflecting Her Majesty’s passing.

Only time will tell what the true impact of the Queen’s death is for the British Monarchy.

Trent Wakerley is a Director at Kruger Law, Maroochydore.

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