Royal Prerogative

The Guardian reports Mystery lifted on Queen's powers which refers to the publication by the House of Commons Public Administration Select Committee (PASC) of the governments list of Royal Prerogative powers vested in the Crown and exercised by Ministers - the first time they have been listed by a government ever apparently.

This is interesting to me particularly as we have been talking about the Royal Prerogative recently in Constitutional Law class and of course at the start of 2003 the prerogative to go to war was exercised by Tony Blair, but interestingly only after he had won a Parliamentary debate on the issue.

The Government argues that new prerogative powers cannot be invented, and that “some have fallen out of use altogether, probably forever—such as the power to press men into the Navy”. However, it accepts that “the conduct of foreign affairs remains very reliant on the exercise of prerogative powers. “ and that they can “still to some extent adapt to changed circumstances”. It also sets out ways in which Parliament and the courts have limited the Prerogative powers through control of the supply of money, new laws and judicial review.

The government provided the list on request from the select committee who are seeking ways to increase Parliamentary oversight of Ministers and may pursue legislation which seeks to require the exercise of prerogative powers to have Parliamentary assent.

Posted by Paul at October 22, 2003 03:11 AM |

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