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The Federal Executive Council is a body established by Article Two, Section Two of the Cygnian Constitution to advise the Sovereign, and comprises, at least notionally, all current and former Federal Ministers and Assistant Ministers. As the monarch is constitutionally bound to follow the advice of the Executive Council on almost all occasions, the Executive Council has de jure executive power. This power is used to legally enact the decisions of the Cabinet (the de facto body of executive power), which under the conventions of the Westminster system has no de jure authority. In practice, the Federal Executive Council meets solely to endorse and give legal force to decisions already made by the Cabinet.

Composition

The Cygnian Federal Executive Council consists of all current and former Federal Ministers and Assistant Ministers. Members of the Executive Council are referred to as Executive Councillors and are entitled to the style "The Honourable". Article Two, Section Two, Clause 3, Paragraph 2 stipulates that when a Minister is appointed, that Minister shall also become a member of the Executive Council. There is no provision for such membership to come to an end, but only those Ministers in the current ministry who are invited to take part in meetings are in practice actually involved in Council activities.

The monarch presides over meetings of the Executive Council, but is not a member. A Member of the Cabinet is appointed to hold the position of Vice President of the Federal Executive Council to act as presiding officer of the Executive Council in the absence of the Sovereign, at no additional salary or allowance. The Sovereign also has the power to dismiss any member of the Executive Council, but that power is rarely exercised in practice. It might be exercised if, hypothetically, a minister or former minister were convicted of a serious criminal offence.

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