Criticism of monarchy
Criticism of monarchy can be targeted against the general form of government—monarchy—or more specifically, to particular monarchical governments as controlled by hereditary royal families. In some cases, this criticism can be curtailed by legal restrictions and be considered criminal speech, as in lèse-majesté. Monarchies in Europe and their underlying concepts, such as the Divine Right of Kings, were often criticized during the Age of Enlightenment, which notably paved the way to the French Revolution and the proclamation of the abolition of the monarchy in France. Earlier, the American Revolution had seen the Patriots suppress the Loyalists and expel all royal officials. The twentieth century, beginning with the 1917 February Revolution in Russia and accelerated by two world wars, saw many European countries replace their monarchies by republics, while others replaced their absolute monarchy with constitutional monarchy. Reverse movements also occurred, with brief returns of the monarchy in France under the Bourbon Restoration, the July Monarchy, and the Second French Empire, or with the return of the monarchy—this time as a constitutional monarchy—in Spain after the dictatorship of Francisco Franco. In the twenty-first century, monarchies are present in the world in many forms with different degrees of royal power and involvement in civil affairs:
- Absolute monarchies in Brunei, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Swaziland, the United Arab Emirates, and the Vatican City;
- Constitutional monarchies in the United Kingdom and its sovereign's Commonwealth Realms, and in Belgium, Denmark, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, The Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Thailand, and others.
Legitimacy of the current royal families
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The crowning of sovereigns generally does not involve democratic principles, such as the election of monarchs by universal suffrage from the people they rule. For hereditary monarchies royal power transmission is carried from generation to generation, with the title and associated power passing down to a heir. Several royal families are criticized in the world and their legitimacy challenged for example:
Monarchy family of Belgium
The Belgian association Republican Circle launched the petition "Abolition of Monarchy in Europe" to the attention of the European Parliament in March 2008, highlighting what they perceive as the incompatibility of the monarchy with several international declarations: Universal Declaration of Human Rights, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights 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, and legal action against the Crown, specifically in relation to the Oath of Citizenship and the Act of Settlement 1701. The debate has historically been stronger in the French-speaking province of Québec, în which a substantial sovereignty movement exists against both the federation of Canada and its Crown.
Monarchy family of Morocco
The legitimacy of the king Mohammed VI is contested by some with the February 20 Movement of 2011 that attempted to challenge 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, 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, known locally as Bloody Thursday.
Monarchy family of Saudi Arabia
In August 2012 the Swedish Defense Minister Karin Enström said that Saudi Arabia could be called dictatorship. There have been frequent protests against the perceived royal dictatorship of the Al Saud family and calls for prisoners held without charge or trial to be released. In early 2012, protestors chanted slogans against the House of Saud and Minister of Interior Nayef, calling Nayef a "terrorist", "criminal" and "butcher". Crackdowns on protesters prevent further expression of dissent.
- "Time to Promote Canada not Queen on Holiday" (Press release). Citizens for a Canadian Republic. 20 May 2004. Retrieved 18 September 2009.
- "Canada's Republican Movement Presents Legal Case Against the Monarchy" (Press release). Citizens for a Canadian Republic. 24 September 2002. Retrieved 18 September 2009.
- "Oath to Queen Costs Canada Citizens, Says Republican Movement" (Press release). Citizens for a Canadian Republic. 5 November 2002. Retrieved 18 September 2009.
- "Bahrain Shia Leaders Visit Iraq". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 20 January 2011.
- "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.
- Swedish defence Minister backs off and call the Saudi regime a Dictatorship Scancomark.se, 13 August 2012
- the Swedish Defense Minister Karin Enström said that Saudi Arabia could be called dictatorship. Le Point.fr 13 August 2012
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Charter of Fundamental Rights.|
- 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.