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 While most prerogative powers have now been replaced by statutory powers, prerogative powers remain important in some contexts, especially in relation to the conduct of the United Kingdom’s foreign affairs.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