January 9

Road Rage Resolved Royally

Arab constitutional monarchies, or Arab nations clearly developing into modern constitutional monarchies, tend to be better societies than politicians’ or military republics.  Think of Morocco and Jordan. Think too of poor Iraq – until it fell under a succession of increasingly brutal military dictators culminating in Saddam Husain.

That constitutional monarchies, crowned republics, are more often than not the most civilized places should not surprise anyone who is reasonably well informed. When I made this point during a 1999 referendum debate at an inner city Liberal Party meeting, I was ridiculed.  But then, as I recited an impressive list of constitutional monarchies, the laughter died down.  

As we have long argued here, the UN Human Development Index has demonstrated over two decades that constitutional monarchy, the crowned republic, is a constitutional model any country considering its constitutional future would be wise to consider.

…road rage resolved royally …

 Boris Johnson, now Mayor of London, tells how he recently saw an example of road rage in the beautiful pink-walled city of Marrakesh resolved on the spot by the Royal Moroccan constabulary, with both parties  retaining their honour (“A simple way to keep law and order – make everyone kiss and cuddle” Daily Telegraph, London, 4 January, 2009). Imagine, Mr. Johnson suggests, if our police dispensed justice by ordering miscreants to apologise on the spot, to pay any necessary compensation for any injury done, and to complete the procedure by giving them a kiss?Think, he says, of the saving in police bureaucracy and form filling. Think of the economies we would make in legal fees and general public expense. And think of the improvement in the crime figures!

…monarchy and law….

Mr. Johnson refers to the great legal theorist Sir Henry Maine, whose book, Ancient Law, was a text in law schools half a century ago. Sir Henry declared that the movement of progressive societies has been the movement from status to contract. Broadly, societies' legal structures began by mimicking the family. Just as a son was expected to obey his father, so a subject was expected to obey his King.

“And there is no doubt that The King, in Morocco, is still a very big cheese indeed,” Boris Johnson concludes. ”He personally appoints all ministers. He opens and dissolves parliament at his own initiative. He oversees virtually every policy. He seems to have no opposition to speak of. Whenever he is in town the streets are hung with Morocco's gorgeous red flag, and he seems pretty popular.”“He rules by virtue of his status as king and a descendant of the Prophet, and his emanation – the leather-jacketed cop – has an immanent authority that you don't find in policemen in mature western democracies who don't have the status to serve as one-man kerbside courtrooms. They have procedures, and rules, and quite right, too.”

…the Victorian Attorney-General fails the people…

The Crown, and respect for the Crown are central to the maintenance of law and order. Is it any surprise that the Victorian Attorney-General, the Hon. Rob Hulls, is presiding over a serious decline in law and order just as he proclaims removing the Crown from criminal prosecutions is some sort of reform?  He is so lacking in an understanding of the role of the Crown he even declares criminal prosecution were instituted in the name of The Queen of England. Mr. Hulls, there has been no such office since 1707, and prosecutions in Victoria have never been made in that name. 


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