The Constitution Unit


Prerogative versus Parliament: What can be Done?

23 October 2019

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Does the prerogative need to be more tightly regulated, and how might that be done?

Brexit has seen the government not merely proroguing Parliament for five weeks, but also threats that the Queen might be advised to withhold Royal Assent from bills passed by Parliament, or even that the Privy Council might suspend Acts of Parliament which the government doesn’t like. It is unprecedented in Britain for the prerogative powers to be deployed in this way. But it is not unprecedented in the Commonwealth.

In this seminar Prof Anne Twomey (Sydney University), world expert on the use and abuse of reserve powers of heads of state in Westminster systems, was joined by Prof Alison Young (Cambridge), to discuss whether the prerogative needs to be more tightly regulated, and how that might be done.