Royal Commission

In Commonwealth realms and other monarchies a Royal Commission is a major ad-hoc formal public inquiry into a defined issue. They have been held in various countries such as the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and Saudi Arabia. A Royal Commission is similar in function to a Commission of Enquiry (or Inquiry) found in other countries such as Ireland, South Africa, and Hong Kong.

A Royal Commissioner has considerable powers, generally greater even than those of a judge but restricted to the Terms of Reference of the Commission. The Commission is created by the Head of State (the Sovereign, or his/her representative in the form of a Governor-General or Governor) on the advice of the Government and formally appointed by Letters Patent. In practice—unlike lesser forms of inquiry—once a Commission has started the government cannot stop it. Consequently governments are usually very careful about framing the Terms of Reference and generally include in them a date by which the commission must finish.

Royal Commissions are called to look into matters of great importance and usually controversy. These can be matters such as government structure, the treatment of minorities, events of considerable public concern or economic questions.

Many Royal Commissions last many years and, often, a different government is left to respond to the findings. In Australia—and particularly New South Wales—Royal Commissions have been investigations into police and government corruption and organised crime using the very broad coercive powers of the Royal Commissioner to defeat the protective systems that powerful, but corrupt, public officials had used to shield themselves from conventional investigation.

Royal Commissions are usually chaired by one or more notable figures. Because of their quasi-judicial powers the Commissioners are often retired senior judges.

Royal Commissions usually involve research into an issue, consultations with experts both within and outside of government and public consultations as well. The Warrant may grant immense investigatory powers, including summoning witnesses under oath, offering of indemnities, seizing of documents and other evidence (sometimes including those normally protected, such as classified information), holding hearings in camera if necessary and—in a few cases—compelling all government officials to aid in the execution of the Commission.

The results of Royal Commissions are published in, often, massive reports of findings containing policy recommendations. (Due to the verbose nature of the titles of these formal documents – for example, the Royal commission into whether there has been corrupt or criminal conduct by any Western Australian Police Officer – they are commonly known by the name of the principal Commissioner.) While these reports are often quite influential, with the government enacting some or all recommendations into law, the work of some Commissions have been almost completely ignored by the government. In other cases, where the Commissioner has departed from the Warranted terms, the commission has been dissolved by a superior court.

Other articles related to "royal commission, commission, royal":

Notable Royal Commissions - United Kingdom
... Royal Commission for inquiring into the nature and extent of the Instruction afforded by the several Institutions in Ireland established for the purpose of Education (1824 ... Royal Commission on the Health of the Army (1856–57) based on Florence Nightingale's reports on medical care during the Crimean War Royal Commission on the Defence of the United Kingdom (1859 ... Royal Commission on Secondary Education (Bryce Commission) (1895) Royal Commission on Sewage Disposal (1898 - 1912) Royal Commission on the control of the feeble-minded (1904 ...
List Of Ethnic Interest Groups In Canada
... case 2004 succah case 2006 Kirpan case Language politics Bilingualism in Canada Gendron Commission Language policies of Canada's provinces and territories (Le ...
List Of Environmental Reports
... an Oil-Free Society - Government of Sweden (2006) Nuclear Power and the Environment - UK Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution - 1976 Our Common Future World Commission on ...
Mc Kenna–Mc Bride Royal Commission
... The Royal Commission on Indian Affairs for the Province of British Columbia (commonly known as the McKenna–McBride Royal Commission) was a Royal ... In 1916, the Commission recommended the removal approximately 47,000 acres (190 km2) of land (with an assessed value between $1,347,912.72 and $1,533 ... On July 19, 1924 an amended McKenna McBride Commission was adopted and applied as the B.C ...
Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor - Controversies - Lingam Videoclip Controversy
... See also Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Lingam Video Clip Tengku Adnan was called to testify in front of a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Lingam Video Clip ... The formation of the commission was a follow-up to a recommendation by a three-man panel which was tasked to determine the authenticity of a video clip of a telephone conversation that raised the allegation ... Following the findings of the Royal Commission, the Malaysian cabinet ordered the Attorney-General to immediately direct agencies to investigate the allegations ...

Famous quotes containing the words commission and/or royal:

    Children cannot eat rhetoric and they cannot be sheltered by commissions. I don’t want to see another commission that studies the needs of kids. We need to help them.
    Marian Wright Edelman (b. 1939)

    Are you there, Africa with the bulging chest and oblong thigh? Sulking Africa, wrought of iron, in the fire, Africa of the millions of royal slaves, deported Africa, drifting continent, are you there? Slowly you vanish, you withdraw into the past, into the tales of castaways, colonial museums, the works of scholars.
    Jean Genet (1910–1986)