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Chapter

Cover Essential Cases: Public Law

R (on the application of Miller and Cherry) v Prime Minister and Advocate General for Scotland [2019] UKSC 41, Supreme Court  

Essential Cases: Public Law provides a bridge between course textbooks and key case judgments. This case note summarizes the facts and decision in R (on the application of Miller and Cherry) v Prime Minister and Advocate General for Scotland [2019] UKSC 41, Supreme Court. This case concerned the constitutional-legal limits on a Prime Minister’s capacity to advise the monarch to exercise their power to prorogue Parliament. The document also includes supporting commentary and questions from author Thomas Webb.

Chapter

Cover Essential Cases: Public Law

Case of Proclamations [1610] 77 ER 1352, 12 Co Rep 74, King’s Bench  

Essential Cases: Public Law provides a bridge between course textbooks and key case judgments. This case document summarizes the facts and decision in Case of Proclamations [1610] 77 ER 1352 12 Co Rep 74, King’s Bench. This classic public law case concerned whether the King could rule by proclamation, or whether he was required to rule through Parliament. It provides one of the core foundations of the law limiting the scope of the royal prerogative today. The document also includes supporting commentary and questions from author Thomas Webb.

Chapter

Cover Essential Cases: Public Law

R (on the application of Miller and Cherry) v Prime Minister and Advocate General for Scotland [2019] UKSC 41, Supreme Court  

Essential Cases: Public Law provides a bridge between course textbooks and key case judgments. This case note summarizes the facts and decision in R (on the application of Miller and Cherry) v Prime Minister and Advocate General for Scotland [2019] UKSC 41, Supreme Court. This case concerned the constitutional-legal limits on a Prime Minister’s capacity to advise the monarch to exercise their power to prorogue Parliament. The document also includes supporting commentary and questions from author Thomas Webb.

Chapter

Cover Essential Cases: Public Law

Case of Proclamations [1610] 77 ER 1352, 12 Co Rep 74, King’s Bench  

Essential Cases: Public Law provides a bridge between course textbooks and key case judgments. This case document summarizes the facts and decision in Case of Proclamations [1610] 77 ER 1352 12 Co Rep 74, King’s Bench. This classic public law case concerned whether the King could rule by proclamation, or whether he was required to rule through Parliament. It provides one of the core foundations of the law limiting the scope of the royal prerogative today. The document also includes supporting commentary and questions from author Thomas Webb.

Chapter

Cover Public Law Concentrate

7. The monarchy and the Royal Prerogative  

Each Concentrate revision guide is packed with essential information, key cases, revision tips, exam Q&As, and more. Concentrates show you what to expect in a law exam, what examiners are looking for, and how to achieve extra marks. The UK is a constitutional monarchy: the monarch exercises their legal powers as part of a system of government which is parliamentary and democratic. The chapter discusses the legal source of the monarch’s powers as head of state which is the Royal Prerogative exercised in accordance with binding political rules and practices. The chapter also covers the monarch’s role within the executive. This chapter discusses the special privileges and immunities of the monarch; the powers and duties of the monarch; and the monarch and the organs and functions of government.

Chapter

Cover Public Law

10. Prerogative Powers  

This chapter examines the meaning and the continuing significance of prerogative powers. Prerogative powers are those that were originally exercised by the Monarch before the modern parliamentary system was established. While most prerogative powers have now been replaced by statutory powers, prerogative powers remain important in some contexts, especially in relation to the conduct of the United Kingdom’s foreign affairs. In this context the decision of the UK Supreme Court in R (Miller) v Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union is of particular importance. The chapter is organized as follows. Section 2 considers the various legal foundations on which central government ministers may base their actions and compares prerogative and statutory powers. Section 3 examines prerogative power—a source of power possessed only by ministers in UK government and the monarch—in more detail. Section 4 considers the progress towards the reform of ministerial prerogatives.

Chapter

Cover Public Law Concentrate

5. Parliamentary government and the legislative process  

Each Concentrate revision guide is packed with essential information, key cases, revision tips, exam Q&As, and more. Concentrates show you what to expect in a law exam, what examiners are looking for, and how to achieve extra marks. This chapter first describes the UK legislature. The legislature of the UK is the Queen in Parliament. Parliament is bicameral, meaning that, apart from the Queen, there are two legislative chambers called the House of Lords and the House of Commons. The House of Lords—composed of life peers, senior bishops, and some hereditary peers—is guardian of the constitution through the work of the House of Lords Constitution Committee and protects the constitution and initiates and revises legislation. The House of Commons—composed of constituency representatives organized on party lines under the whip system—is the principal legislative chamber and plays a significant role in scrutinizing the executive. The discussion then turns to the legislative process, covering electoral law, alternative voting systems, and the devolution of the legislative function including the Wales Act 2017.

Chapter

Cover Public Law Concentrate

8. The executiveCentral, devolved, and local government  

Each Concentrate revision guide is packed with essential information, key cases, revision tips, exam Q&As, and more. Concentrates show you what to expect in a law exam, what examiners are looking for, and how to achieve extra marks. This chapter discusses the executive branch of government. The executive consists of the reigning monarch who is legally the head of state, the Prime Minister, Cabinet, unanimity of advice and collective cabinet responsibility; Secretaries of State, Ministers of the Crown, departments of state, non-departmental public bodies, the civil service, the Civil Service Commission, parliamentary accountability, the Ministerial Code, the seven principles of public life, legal accountability, devolved administrative organizations in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, and London, local authorities, the police, and the armed forces, the effect of the Localism Act 2011, the Scotland Acts 1998, 2012, 2014, and 2016, the Cities and Devolution Act 2016, and the Wales Act 2017. This chapter also discusses the relevant provisions of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 and the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation and Exercise of Functions) Act 2018.

Chapter

Cover Public Law

6. The Crown, royal prerogative, and constitutional conventions  

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’.

Chapter

Cover Constitutional Law, Administrative Law, and Human Rights

9. Constitutional Conventions  

This chapter assesses the nature and purpose of constitutional conventions. The discussions cover the concepts of collective and individual ministerial responsibility; the relationship between the Monarch and her Ministers; the relationship between convention, statute, and the common law; the ‘Ponsonby rule’ and the Constitutional Reform and Governance Act 2010. It is argued that the concentration of effective political power is often very intense, even within a political party; small groups of senior Ministers or even the Prime Minister alone may occasionally be, to all intents and purposes, ‘elected dictators’.

Chapter

Cover Public Law

10. Prerogative Powers  

This chapter examines the continuing significance of prerogative powers (sometimes referred to as the Royal Prerogative). Prerogative powers are those that were originally exercised by the monarch before the modern parliamentary system was established. While most prerogative powers have now been replaced by statutory powers, they remain important in some contexts, for example in relation to the deployment of armed forces abroad, the conduct of the United Kingdom’s foreign affairs, and the prorogation of Parliament. As well as considering these issues the Chapter also looks at reform of the prerogative.

Chapter

Cover Public Law

11. Case Study: Deployment of British Armed Forces Abroad  

This chapter contains a case study: deployment of British armed forces abroad. Theimportant decision to deploy forces abroad is taken by the executive relying on its prerogative power. In the past, such decisions were taken with minimal parliamentary oversight. A constitutional convention may have developed that Parliament should debate and approve deployments, but the scope of this convention is not settled. Parliamentary committees of both houses of Parliament and others have pressed for reforms designed to ensure that Parliament has a greater influence. This chapter explores the issues involved and reasons why reform has proved so difficult to achieve.