Withdrawn: Knighthoods and the Order of Australia

AuthorGreg Taylor
Date01 September 2020
Published date01 September 2020
Subject MatterWithdrawal Notice
Withdrawal Notice
Withdrawal – Knighthoods and
the Order of Australia
G Taylor, ‘Knighthoods and the Order of Australia’ (2019) Federal Law Review
Ahead of Print article withdrawn by publisher.
This article has been withdrawn at the author’s request and has been accepted for publication
Federal Law Review
2020, Vol. 48(3) 433
ªThe Author(s) 2020
Article reuse guidelines:
DOI: 10.1177/0067205X20936388
Withdrawn: Knighthoods
and the Order of Australia
Greg Taylor*
This article considers the legal basis and functioning of the Order of Australia in general, with
special reference to the innovations under the prime ministership of Tony Abbott: his two
schemes for again awarding Knighthoods in the Order, the first of which bypassed the Council of
the Order, as well as his decision to award a Knighthood to Prince Philip. The separate roles of the
Council, the Governor-General and the Queen are outlined. International comparisons with
Canada and New Zealand are made and case law on honours considered. Other questions not
examined by scholars to date include whether failure to confer or the deprivation of an award in
the Order can be reviewed in administrative law. The article concludes by asking what reforms
could be made to place the Order on a firmer legal basis, avoid any further embarrassing
adventurism and reinforce the Order’s independence from politicians.
I Introduction
The reintroduction of Australian Knighthoods
seemed, at the time (March 2014), to be hard to top
in terms of unforeseeability,
not to say eccentricity—until, to the astonishment of a whole nation,
one was conferred upon a defenceless Prince Philip on Australia Day 2015. Sufficient time has
probably now elapsed since these incidents for a dispassionate examination of the legal aspects of
them by a scholar who is not wholly unsympathetic to the ideas behind the reintroduction of a
titular distinction in the Order of Australia. It hardly needs to be said that the salesmanship of this
idea left a good deal to be desired—indeed, perhaps only computers are capable of comparable
* Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. Professor of Law, University of Adelaide; Honorary Professor of Law, Marburg
University, Germany; Honorary Associate Professor, R.M.I.T. University, Melbourne. The author would like to thank
Dr Yee-Fui Ng for providing useful references during research for this article and Dr Christopher McCreery MVO for
helpfully providing information about the Order of Canada and general comments on a draft. Thanks are also due to the
Honours and Symbols Section of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet for answering email enquiries. Thanks are
due also, last but not least, to the anonymous referees. The usu al caveat applies. The author may be contacted at
1. In order to avoid tedious repetition, in this article Damehoods are taken to be included within this term.
2. Thus,for example, a scholar ofthe Australian honours system,writing in the previousyear, did not see it coming,despite the
foreseeable electionof the Abbott government in that year: Karen Fox,‘“A Pernicious System of Caste and Privilege”:
Egalitarianismand Official Honours in Australia,New Zealand and Canada’ (2013) 10(2)History Australia 202.
Federal Law Review
ªThe Author(s) 2020
Article reuse guidelines:
DOI: 10.1177/0067205X19892363

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