Great Seal of Guelphia

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The Great Seal of Guelphia is a seal used by the Sovereign to approve all state documents. The formal custodian of the Great Seal is the Prime Minister of Guelphia in his capacity as Keeper of the Great Seal of Guelphia.

History

Function and powers

The function of the Great Seal of Guelphia is to authorise all state documents that require the Sovereign's approval. In practice, the use of Great Seal is used under the advice of the Prime Minister is his capacity as President of the Executive Council. Those matters that still require the personal approval of the Sovereign are not only passed under the Great Seal, but are also passed under the Privy Seal as well. Personal matters pertaining to the Sovereign pass only under the King's Signet.

The use of the Great Seal is regulated under the Seals and Signets Act[1]. It is an act of treason to forge, or attempt to forge, the Great Seal. As an act of treason, the maximum penalty for this offence is death by hanging.

Usage

The use of the Great Seal takes on two forms. For major documents requiring to be passed under the Great Seal, such as proclamations, certain letters-patent, and the raising of peers, the full Great Seal is used.

However, in most cases the seal is replaced by a smaller and simpler wafer version, which is used for documents such as royal proclamations, letters-patent granting the royal assent, and the issuing of writs for parliamentary elections.

Keeper of the Great Seal

Officially, the Great Seal is in the custody of, and is administered by, the Keeper of the Great Seal of Guelphia. By convention, this office has been held jointly with that of President of the Executive Council since Guelphia was first settled. The current Keeper of the Great Seal of Guelphia is the Right Honourable Matthew Jones.

In practice, both forms of the Great Seal are kept by the Clerk of Great Seal, who holds the additional office of Permanent Secretary to the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Both forms of the Great Seal are kept in the Cabinet Office in Parliament House.

References and notes

  1. Seals and Signets Act (Public Act No. 22 of 1908).

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