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The Senate of the Empire of Austenasia is an institution responsible for the accountability of the Monarch. 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 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, containing 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 behavior 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). The Senate must also give their authorization for a referendum to be held on an amendment to the Constitution.
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, if at present, in the case of a tie, the oldest of said Senators - holds the office of Princeps Senatus, and acts as a chairman of the Senate.
|Lady Vice Admiral Eryn Lewis, Duchess of Bernardston||20 January 2018||Speaker of the House of Representatives since 10 March 2016.|
|Lord Karl Friedrich, Baron of Aurora||20 January 2018||Appointed by Emperor Jonathan I as the Senator nominated by the Monarch.|
|HG Duke Bradley of Dullahan
Dux Bradley Dullahanae
|20 January 2018||Appointed by Lord Admiral Joseph Kennedy as the Senator nominated by the Prime Minister. First and incumbent Princeps Senatus.|
|HI&SH Princess Hannah||20 January 2018||Augusta since 5 November 2016; accepted a seat in the Senate at the invitation of Emperor Jonathan I.|
|Lord John Gordon, Viscount of Thetford||1 January 2019||Consul for 2019.|
|HM King Adam I||20 January 2018 - 31 December 2018||Consul for 2018.|