The Senate of the Empire of Austenasia is an institution responsible for the accountability of the Monarch and approving the ratification of treaties. The Senate was officially brought into existence on 20 January 2018, when the legislation establishing it - the Second Amendment to the Austenasian Constitution of 2011 - came into force.
Powers and function
The Senate is first and foremost responsible for the accountability of the Austenasian Monarch. Every Imperial Ascension Day, the Monarch delivers an address to the Senate reporting on the state of the Empire under their reign, reflecting on the year past, and reviewing plans for the coming year.
The Senate has the power to pass (by vote) Senatorial Resolutions, which contain advice to the Monarch which must legally be considered but is not directly enforceable. However, should the Monarch consistently ignore Senatorial Resolutions - or display any other behaviour which indicates a lack of suitability or capacity to hold the Throne - the Senate may vote to install a Regency. Should this happen, the Senate shall also decide on whether the Regent shall be the Prime Minister or chosen from the Line of Succession. Should the Monarch renounce Christianity, the Senate is legally obliged to vote to depose them, which is under current Austenasian law one of only three ways - the other two being abdication and death - that the Monarch can completely lose said office (a Regency merely entailing a loss of powers).
Since August 2023, the Senate has had the function of approving the signing of treaties. Unless the Senate has approved Austenasia becoming party to a treaty in a Resolution, any signature will be of no force (with the exception of it being signed directly by the Monarch, which would legally ratify the treaty but would be by ignoring a Resolution). The Senate must also give their authorization for a referendum to be held on an amendment to the Constitution, and must - along with the Monarch - give their consent for changes to be made to the Line of Succession.
Members of the Senate hold the position of Senator, and the style of "The Illustrious" if no other higher style is held. The Senate consists of:
- Any former holders of the position of Monarch, Prime Minister or Consul who accept a seat in the Senate at the invitation of the Monarch or Prime Minister.
- Any current or former holders of the title Augusta or Caesar who accept a seat in the Senate at the invitation of the Monarch or Prime Minister.
- The incumbent Consuls and Speaker of the House of Representatives.
- A Senator nominated by the Monarch, and a Senator nominated by the Prime Minister, both of whom stay Senators only at the discretion of their nominator.
- Any children of a Senator whom the Senate may vote to inherit their parent’s status after the latter’s demise.
Neither the Monarch nor the Prime Minister may themselves hold a seat in the Senate, even if they should be the Speaker or a Consul. Membership of the Senate (for all those other than the Speaker, Consuls, and the nominations of the Monarch and Prime Minister) is intended to be for life, and can be lost only by death, resignation, or should the Senate vote to remove a member for "criminal or immoral behaviour."
The Senator who has held that position for the longest amount of time - or in the case of a tie (as is the case at present), the oldest of said Senators - holds the office of Princeps Senatus, and acts as a chairman of the Senate.
|Lord Karl Friedrich, Duke of Bohemia||20 January 2018||Appointed by Emperor Jonathan I as the Senator nominated by the Monarch.|
|HG Duke Bradley of Dullahan
Bradley Archidux Saxoniae
|20 January 2018||Initially appointed by the now Brooklyn Hewitt as the Senator nominated by the Prime Minister; kept in said position by the succeeding three Prime Ministers: Prince Dionisiy, Lord John Gordon, and Lord William Wilson. Served concurrently as Consul for 2021. Accepted a permanent seat in the Senate as a former Consul at the invitation of Emperor Jonathan I on 1 January 2023. First and incumbent Princeps Senatus.|
|HI&SH Empress Hannah||20 January 2018||Augusta since 5 November 2016; accepted a seat in the Senate at the invitation of Emperor Jonathan I. Consul for 2020 and 2021.|
|Lord John Gordon, Viscount of Thetford||18 September 2021
1 Jan - 31 Dec 2019)
|Consul for 2019. Accepted a seat in the Senate at the invitation of Emperor Jonathan I following the end of his term as Prime Minister in 2021. Has also served as Speaker of the House of Representatives since 24 August 2022.|
|Count Shiro Mephistopheles||1 January 2023||Consul for 2023.|
|Sir Anthony Clark, KOB||1 January 2023||Consul for 2023.|
|HM King Adam I||20 January - 31 December 2018||Consul for 2018.|
|Lady Vice Admiral Elizabeth Lewis, Duchess of Bernardston||20 January 2018 -
11 February 2020
|Speaker of the House of Representatives from 10 March 2016 to 11 February 2020. Consul for 2019.|
|Lord Edward Gunderson, Count of New Grémmia||13 February -
29 May 2020
|Speaker of the House of Representatives from 13 February 2020 to 29 May 2020.|
|Lady Brenda Barger, Baroness of New Richmond||1 January -
31 December 2020
|Consul for 2020.|
|Lord William Wilson, Count of Oribrazos||1 June 2020 -
24 February 2021
|Speaker of the House of Representatives from 1 June 2020 to 24 February 2021.|
|Lord Ashley Jaax, Baron of Kingeston||24 February -
11 August 2021
|Speaker of the House of Representatives from 24 February 2021 to 22 August 2021.|
|Lady Admiral Brooklyn Hewitt, Duchess of New Royton||13 February 2020 - 15 February 2022||Caesar from 20 September 2014 to 10 July 2021, Prime Minister from 5 March 2015 to 13 February 2020, and Consul for 2018. Accepted a seat in the Senate at the invitation of Emperor Jonathan I following the end of her term as Prime Minister. Resigned in February 2022.|
|Lord Hunter Prater, Duke of Dixie||22 September 2021 - 24 August 2022||Speaker of the House of Representatives from 22 September 2021 to 24 August 2022.|
|Lord Otto Birch, Count of Lygonia||1 January -
31 December 2022
|Consul for 2022.|
|HIll.H Tania, Countess of Memphis||1 January -
31 December 2022
|Consul for 2022.|
- House of Representatives (Austenasia), the unicameral house of the Austenasian parliament.