Government of Queensland
The form of the Government of Queensland is prescribed in its Constitution, which dates from 1859, although it has been amended many times since then. Since 1901 Queensland has been a state of the Commonwealth of Australia, and the Australian Constitution regulates its relationship with the Commonwealth.
Under the Australian Constitution, Queensland ceded certain legislative and judicial powers to the Commonwealth, but retained complete independence in all other areas. In practice, however, the independence of the Australian states has been greatly eroded by the increasing financial domination of the Commonwealth.
Queensland is governed according to the principles of the Westminister system, a form of parliamentary government based on the model of the United Kingdom. Legislative power rests with the Parliament of Queensland, which consists of the Crown, represented by the Governor of Queensland, and the Queensland Legislative Assembly (Queensland is the only state which does not have an upper House).
Executive power rests formally with the Executive Council, which consists of the Governor and senior ministers. In practice executive power is exercised by the Premier of Queensland and the Cabinet, who are appointed by the Governor, but who hold office by virtue of their ability to command the support of a majority of members of the Legislative Assembly.
Judicial power is exercised by the Supreme Court of Queensland and a system of subordinate courts, but the High Court of Australia and other federal courts have overriding jurisdiction on matters which fall under the ambit of the Australian Constitution.
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