Royal Prerogative: Statute Law

(asked on 17th January 2022) - View Source

Question to the Cabinet Office:

To ask Her Majesty's Government which, if any, prerogative powers have been removed using statute law; and on what occasions.

Answered by
Lord True Portrait
Lord True
Shadow Leader of the House of Lords
This question was answered on 24th January 2022

The Royal Prerogative is the residual power inherent in the Sovereign, and which is now exercised mostly on the advice of Ministers. It may be divided into the following broad categories: constitutional or personal prerogatives and prerogative executive powers.

The Dissolution and Calling of Parliament Bill, which is currently going through your Lordship’s House, will make the Royal Prerogative powers relating to the dissolution of Parliament and the calling of a new Parliament exercisable again, as if the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011 had never been enacted. We have a sound legal basis for the position that prerogative powers can be revived, and there is no doubt on this question if this is made clear in statute. Clause 2 of the Bill makes the necessary express provision accordingly.

Parliament can and has legislated to modify, abolish, or supersede Royal Prerogative powers. It is rare that statutes abolish Royal Prerogative powers explicitly. It is, therefore, a matter of legal judgement whether a prerogative is abridged by implication.

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