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Public Law

Public Law (3rd edn)

John Stanton and Craig Prescott
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date: 04 December 2023

p. 2056. The Crown, royal prerogative, and constitutional conventionslocked

p. 2056. The Crown, royal prerogative, and constitutional conventionslocked

  • John StantonJohn StantonSenior Lecturer in Law at The City Law School, City, University of London
  •  and Craig PrescottCraig PrescottLecturer in Law, Bangor University


This chapter explores the historical, legal, and political nature of the Crown and the royal prerogative. The rule of law requires that the government act according to the law, which means that the powers of the government must be derived from the law. However, within the UK Constitution, some powers of the government stem from the royal prerogative, as recognized by the common law. The concepts of the Crown and the royal prerogative mean that although the Queen is Head of State, it is generally the ministers who form the government that exercise the prerogative powers of the Crown. For this reason, many prerogative powers are often referred to as the ‘ministerial prerogatives’, and the few prerogative powers still exercised personally by the monarch, are referred to as the ‘personal prerogatives’.

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