A Question of Loyalty explores individual ministerial responsibility, collective responsibility and the relationship between minsters and chief executives by satirising this relationship for comic effect. Second, while Bagehot limits his analysis to the House of Commons, in Australia and, indeed, the UK , Ministers may sit in the upper house of Parliament and gain necessary experience in that house. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. This model is more suited to the Australian context as it allows external Ministers to be accountable to Parliament while not actually requiring their appointment to that body. As a result, some degree of institutionalisation and formal written adoption is desirable. A parliamentary system that uses cabinet collective responsibility is more likely to avoid contradictions and disagreements between cabinet members of the executive branch. The PM and cabinet set policy goals, ministers then take these aims for policy and set policies for respective departments White,

This section examines the processes and limitations that could be applied to ensure the effective accountability of external Ministers. It is, however, in a cabinet member’s best interest to support and align with the president’s policies because they serve at the pleasure of the president, who can at any time dismiss them or appoint them to another position. Click here to sign up. In the Australian setting, bicameral legislatures except in Queensland and the self-governing Territories complicate the issue of accountability. The United States president’s cabinet members cannot simultaneously serve in Congress , and therefore cannot vote on legislation supported by the executive.

Cabinet collective responsibility

Hearings are conducted by the relevant departmental Select Committee in the House of Commons and culminate in a report either endorsing or expressing reservations about the appointment. We are accustomed to think that the essence of responsible government is this: In the Australian setting, bicameral legislatures except in Queensland and the self-governing Territories complicate the issue of accountability. Cabinet collective responsibility is not the same as individual ministerial responsibilitywhich states that ministers are responsible responsobility the running of their departments, and therefore culpable for the departments’ mistakes.

Finally, it is possible that this option would not be popular with the Australian electorate: However, it is less clear whether this necessarily entails that Ministers are elected to Parliament.


Once selected as cabinet ministers, each minister is given a position as head of one of the government departments. It rests on the notion that the executive ought to appear a collective entity, able to maintain cohesion and display political strength”. Cabinet collective responsibilityalso known as collective ministerial responsibility[1] is a constitutional convention in Parliamentary systems that members of the cabinet must publicly support all governmental decisions made in Cabinet, even if they do not privately agree with them.

Enter the email address you signed up with and we’ll email you a reset link. Humphrey Appleby, the permanent secretary is often suggested to give advice against policies or actions that would cause change in the department of the minster James Hacker. Cabinet collective responsibility is related to the fact that if a vote of no confidence is passed in parliamentthe government is responsible collectively, and thus the entire government resigns.

However, the delegates rarely turned their attention in any detail to the meaning of responsible government or what it would entail in an Australian federal state.

research paper 04/82 the collective responsibility of ministers

Using the casual vacancy provisions, the Labor government was able to bring external expertise into its Cabinet in a similar fashion to the appointment of external Ministers in Canada. B Constitutional practice in Australia Despite the relative ease with which external Ministers could be appointed in the States and Territories, there has been only limited inclination to do so.

Hence, the existing removal processes for Ministers are also appropriate for external Ministers. A further mechanism for ensuring the accountability of external Ministers would be to subject potential appointees to pre-appointment hearings in Parliament. See also at 9 MarchCharles Kingston.

research paper 04/82 the collective responsibility of ministers

To ensure consistency with the conventions of responsible government, responnsibility is essential to establish accountability mechanisms to ensure proper oversight of external Ministers.

This article examines the extent to which Australia’s constitutional system can accommodate unelected members of a Commonwealth, State or Territory executive. For the government to be truly accountable to the people and Parliament the electoral and Parliamentary machinery must, of course, work effectively and democratically.


(PDF) Accountability and Collective Responsibility | Sean Manning –

It reflects a recognition that understandings of responsible government must evolve to fit contemporary circumstances. This 0482 is more suited to the Australian context as it allows external Ministers to be accountable to Parliament while not actually requiring their appointment to that body.

research paper 04/82 the collective responsibility of ministers

researfh Ministers must not speak against government policy or reveal the deliberations of Cabinet. British government in crisis: As Palmer states, when ministers are expected to take public accountability or even resign, there are political implications that are often obscured.

The relevant provisions are detailed in Table 4 below. At the State responwibility, constitutional change could be effected by an Act of State Parliament as constitutional provisions do not entrench the status of Ministers in any State.

(PDF) The Appointment of Ministers from Outside of Parliament | Alysia Blackham –

Remember me on this computer. Drawing on these comparative experiences, we propose a model of external ministerial appointments that builds upon existing appointment and termination processes for Ministers and includes specific accountability measures to ensure the responsibility of external Ministers to Parliament and compliance with ministerial codes of conduct. The cabinet members, along with the Prime Minister, schedule weekly closed door sessions to discuss the collective stance of the cabinet to avoid inconsistent responses from cabinet ministers.

This support includes voting for the government in the legislature. It has been argued in the UK that Ministers need to be ‘rooted somewhere’ to become integrated into the ministerial team.

However, the Lord Advocate retains the right to address Cabinet. It is also possible to limit external ministerial appointments to positions that require specialist expertise, as is the case in Scotland.

In Finlandcollective responsibility has been established both constitutionally and as a convention.

Solidarity within the cabinet can strengthen the prime minister’s party and accelerate policy decisions and interests of that party.