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date: 28 May 2024

p. 764. The Royal Prerogativelocked

p. 764. The Royal Prerogativelocked

  • Ian LovelandIan LovelandProfessor of Public Law, City, University of London


This chapter considers the evolving constitutional status of the royal prerogative in the courts during the twentieth century. The discussions cover the relationship between statute, the prerogative, and the rule of law; the traditional perspective on judicial review of prerogative powers and the rejection of that traditional perspective in the House of Lords’ judgment in Council of Civil Service Unions v Minister for the Civil Service (GCHQ). The chapter continues by analysing the ways in which the new organising principle of ‘justiciability’ which emerged in the GCHQ judgment in the 1980s has since been applied in several leading cases, and suggests that in recent years the courts have adopted an increasingly rigorous approach to the supervision of governmental actions claimed to be taken under prerogative powers.

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