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Westminster Conventions

Politics and Law (Year 12) - Essential Information

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The westminster conventions create a system of responsibility and accountability of the executive government. These conventions are not codified, meaning that there is no legal obligation within Parliament to uphold these conventions.

List of Conventions

  1. The executive is drawn from the legislative and is held accountable to the legislative branch.

  2. The party that gains a majority of seats (76+) in the lower house becomes the government of the day.

  3. If the government looses the confidence of the lower house, they must resign.

  4. Individual Ministerial Responsibility (IMR) means that a cabinet minister bears the ultimate responsibility for the actions of their ministry or department. A minister is also responsible for their probity and propriety and failure to uphold such should lead to the resignation of the minister.

  5. Collective Ministerial Responsibility (CMR) is when members of the cabinet must publicly support all government decisions made in Cabinet, even if they do not privately agree with them. If cabinet members do disagree with the decisions, then they should remove themselves from the cabinet.

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