conventions


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Related to conventions: Constitutional conventions
See: decorum

conventions

(of the British constitution) discernible rules of conduct that are considered binding by the Crown and those involved in government. They are not laws in the sense of legally binding people in such a way that they could be compelled to perform or be sanctioned for failure to do so in a court. Neither are conventions, strictly speaking, customs because custom is a source of actual law and a convention is not law.

The bulk of conventions regulate the following: the royal prerogative and the cabinet; the workings of Parliament, particularly the relationship of the House of Commons and the House of Lords; the organization of the Commonwealth; the making of war; the dissolution of government; the refusing of the royal assent to Bills; ministers being collectively responsible; the business of the House of Commons being arranged behind the Speaker's chair by the leader of the government and the leader of the opposition; the restriction on the UK Parliament legislating for a former dependent territory, now an independent member of the Commonwealth, unless it is asked to do so; the appointment of the governor general of an independent Commonwealth country.

References in classic literature ?
The Convention was held at Annapolis, in September of that year.
But in its construction the Convention immediately perceived that they must retrace their steps, and fall back from a league of friendship between sovereign States to the constituent sovereignty of the people; from power to right--from the irresponsible despotism of State sovereignty to the self-evident truths of the Declaration of Independence.
But if the people at large had reason to confide in the men of that Congress, few of whom had been fully tried or generally known, still greater reason have they now to respect the judgment and advice of the convention, for it is well known that some of the most distinguished members of that Congress, who have been since tried and justly approved for patriotism and abilities, and who have grown old in acquiring political information, were also members of this convention, and carried into it their accumulated knowledge and experience.
There are songs of delight in Nature; a multitude of love poems of all moods; many pastorals, in which, generally, the pastoral conventions sit lightly on the genuine poetical feeling; occasional patriotic outbursts; and some reflective and religious poems.
We are grown stiff with the ramrod of convention down our backs.
The convention thought the concurrent jurisdiction preferable to that subordination; and it is evident that it has at least the merit of reconciling an indefinite constitutional power of taxation in the Federal government with an adequate and independent power in the States to provide for their own necessities.
Were it proposed by the plan of the convention to abolish the governments of the particular States, its adversaries would have some ground for their objection; though it would not be difficult to show that if they were abolished the general government would be compelled, by the principle of self-preservation, to reinstate them in their proper jurisdiction.
I am really not unconventional--though certainly no slave to convention.
It is not difficult to be unconventional in the eyes of the world when your unconventionality is but the convention of your set.
Their theory, suitable for primitive and peaceful periods of history, has the inconvenience- in application to complex and stormy periods in the life of nations during which various powers arise simultaneously and struggle with one another- that a Legitimist historian will prove that the National Convention, the Directory, and Bonaparte were mere infringers of the true power, while a Republican and a Bonapartist will prove: the one that the Convention and the other that the Empire was the real power, and that all the others were violations of power.
The war-cloud grew dark and threatening in April, and on April 17 the Convention of Copenhagen was called.
This speech so pleased the other Members of the convention that, actuated by a magnanimous impulse, they sprang to their feet and left the hall.