Cardinal George Pell (Image: AAP/David Crosling)

Dyson Heydon, Bettina Arndt, George Pell. The list of Order of Australia luminaries under a cloud has been banking up with no resolution in sight.

Given that the power of the governor-general to terminate whole governments has been in the news of late, Inq is taking a case by case look at what powers exist to cancel an Order of Australia. 

Governor-General David Hurley has wide discretion to terminate an honour without fear of it being challenged in the courts.  There's just one catch: the governor-general would be taking on people with powerful friends in conservative politics.