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Criticism of monarchy

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Title: Criticism of monarchy  
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Subject: Monarchy, Absolute monarchy
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Criticism of monarchy

Criticism of monarchy may refer to the criticism of monarchy as a form of government, or to the criticism of particular monarchical governments, as controlled by hereditary royal families. In some cases, criticism of royalty carries serious limits, and beyond those limits critical speech is regarded as criminal speech. Monarchies were strongly criticized during the Age of Enlightenment, as well as the concepts that substained them, such as the Divine Right of Kings. This led to the French Revolution and the proclamation of the abolition of the monarchy on 21 September 1792. As well as the American Revolution in 1774, when the Patriots suppressed the Loyalists and expelled all royal officials. Later in Russia in 1917 with the February Revolution resulting with abdication of Tsar Nicholas II. In this country and many others the monarchic governments were replaced by Republics, and other countries replaced their absolute monarchy with a constitutional monarchy.

The reverse is also true with some brief return of the monarchy in France with the Bourbon Restoration, July Monarchy & The Second French Empire. Or with the Monarchy of Spain with the return of the monarchy but a constitutional monarchy.

In the twenty-first century, monarchies are present in the world in many forms :

Absolute monarchy in Brunei, Qatar, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Swaziland, the United Arab Emirates UAE[1] (inside the regional sphere of power) and the Vatican City.[2]

•Constitutional monarchies in Belgium, Denmark, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden , Thailand, United kingdom and others.

Incompatibility of the monarchy with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)

Article 1 : «All peoples have the right of self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.»

Article 25 : «Every citizen shall have the right and the opportunity, without any of the distinctions mentioned in article 2 and without unreasonable restrictions:

(a) To take part in the conduct of public affairs, directly or through freely chosen representatives;

(b) To vote and to be elected at genuine periodic elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret ballot, guaranteeing the free expression of the will of the electors;

(c) To have access, on general terms of equality, to public service in his country.»

The principle of hereditary monarchy is one in which the crown is passed down from one member of the royal family to another, preventing any other person to become king and so to enjoy articles 1 & 25 of International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).

Incompatibility of the monarchy with the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union

the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union stipulates

Article 21 – Non-discrimination: «Any discrimination based on any ground such as sex, race, color, ethnic or social origin, genetic features, language, religion or belief, political or any other opinion, membership of a national minority, property, birth, disability, age or sexual orientation shall be prohibited.»

Article 23: «Equality between women and men must be ensured in all areas, including employment, work and pay.»

Some monarchies still maintain rules like male primogeniture excluding women from succession, is the case for Japan and all Islamic monarchy (Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Morocco, Sultanate of Brunei, Qatar ...)

Legitimacy of the current royal families

Modes designation of kings do not involve democratic principles, including the election of kings by universal suffrage by the people they govern. For hereditary monarchies royal power transmission is carried from generation to generation. Several royal families are criticized in the world and their legitimacy challenged for example:

Monarchy family of Belgium

The Belgian Association Republican Circle (Cercle Républicain CRK (asbl) launched the petition Abolition of the monarchy in Europe to the attention of the European Parliament in March 2008 highlighting the incompatibility of the monarchy with several international declaration: Universal Declaration of Human Rights, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.

Monarchy family in Canada

Debate between monarchists and republicans in Canada has been taking place since before the country's Confederation in 1867. Republican action has taken the form of protests on Victoria Day the Canadian sovereign's official birthday, lobbying of the federal and provincial governments to eliminate Canadian royal symbols,[3] and legal action against the Crown, specifically in relation to the Oath of Citizenship and the Act of Settlement 1701.[4][5]


Monarchy family of Morocco

The legitimacy of the king Mohammed VI is contested in 2011 with the February 20 Movement that attempts to undermine the functioning of the monarchic system for the first time in the history of this country.

Monarchy family of Bahrain

The Bahraini protests were initially aimed at achieving greater political freedom and equality for the majority Shia population,[6] and expanded to a call to end the monarchy of Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa following a deadly night raid on 17 February 2011 against protesters at the Pearl Roundabout in Manama,[7] known locally as Bloody Thursday. Population who are systematically discriminated against by the Sunni minority and Sunni royal family.

Monarchy family of Saudi Arabia

In August 2012 the Swedish Defense Minister Karin Enström said that Saudi Arabia could be called dictatorship.[8][9] Protests against the royal dictatorship of Al Saud family and calling for prisoners held without charge or trial to be released in April and May 2011.In the early 2012 demonstrations, protestors chanted slogans against the House of Saud and Minister of Interior, Nayef, calling Nayef a "terrorist", "criminal" and "butcher". Crackdown on protesters prevents further expression of dissent.



  1. ^ "Vatican to Emirates, monarchs keep the reins in modern world". Times Of India. 
  2. ^ "State Departments". Retrieved 2014-01-25. 
  3. ^ "Time to Promote Canada not Queen on Holiday" (Press release). Citizens for a Canadian Republic. 20 May 2004. Retrieved 18 September 2009. 
  4. ^ "Canada's Republican Movement Presents Legal Case Against the Monarchy" (Press release). Citizens for a Canadian Republic. 24 September 2002. Retrieved 18 September 2009. 
  5. ^ "Oath to Queen Costs Canada Citizens, Says Republican Movement" (Press release). Citizens for a Canadian Republic. 5 November 2002. Retrieved 18 September 2009. 
  6. ^ "Bahrain Shia Leaders Visit Iraq". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 20 January 2011.
  7. ^ "Bahrain Protests: Police Break Up Pearl Square Crowd". BBC News. 17 February 2011. Archived from the original on 5 April 2011. Retrieved 15 April 2011. 
  8. ^ Swedish defence Minister backs off and call the Saudi regime a Dictatorship, 13 August 2012
  9. ^ the Swedish Defense Minister Karin Enström said that Saudi Arabia could be called dictatorship. Le 13 August 2012

External links

  • Text of the UDHR
  • Official translations of the UDHR
  • Text of the Covenant
  • Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (and in PDF format).
  • Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union as adapted at Lisbon
  • European Parliament’s explanation of the Charter
  • Petition to the European Parliament.
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