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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 While most prerogative powers have now been replaced by statutory powers, prerogative powers remain important in some contexts, especially in relation to the conduct of the United Kingdom’s foreign affairs.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

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.

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 While most prerogative powers have now been replaced by statutory powers, they remain important in some contexts, for example in relation to the deployment of armed forces abroad, the conduct of the United Kingdom’s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 Directions

12. The executive  

This chapter discusses the executive, the administrative branch of government which creates and executes policy, and implements laws. It specifically focuses on the organisation of central government in the UK. Central government in the UK carries out day-to-day administration in relation to England and the whole of the UK on non-devolved matters. Its functions include the conduct of foreign affairs, defence, national security, and oversight of the Civil Service and government agencies. Central government essentially consists of the government and Civil Service but modern government is extensive, multi-layered, and complex. The chapter then studies the sources of ministerial power. Ministers’ legal authority to act can derive from statute, common law, or royal prerogative. The royal prerogative is a source of power which is ‘only available for a case not covered by statute’.

Book

Cover Cases and Materials on Constitutional and Administrative Law

Brian Thompson, Michael Gordon, and Adam Tucker

Cases & Materials on Constitutional and Administrative Law is an invaluable resource. Extracts have been chosen from a wide range of historical and contemporary cases and materials to illustrate the reasoning processes of the courts and to show how legal principles are developed. The extracts from the leading cases in the field are combined with legal, political, and philosophical materials and linked together with explanatory text, alongside extensive notes and questions for discussion. The book takes a critical look at the main doctrines of constitutional law as well as the principles of administrative law, examining the operation of the constitution in relation to Parliament, the government, and the citizen. Incisive commentary throughout the text provides explanation and analysis of the key issues and challenges in constitutional and administrative law. The thirteenth edition has been fully revised and updated to reflect the latest developments in legislation, case law, and politics, including the process and implications of exiting the EU, and the UK’s new post-Brexit legal arrangements; continuing change and challenges to the devolution settlement in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland; major Supreme Court decisions in Miller (No.2) / Cherry, UNISON, the Scottish Continuity Bill Reference, and Privacy International; new developments in relation to ministerial responsibility and parliamentary accountability (including the impact of the coronavirus pandemic); proposed repeal of the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011; and discussion of proposals for reforms of judicial review and tribunal appeal processes, as well as proposed reform of ombudsmen. This text continues to provide instant access to an unrivalled collection of up-to-date judgments, statutory provisions, official publications, and other policy materials.