The Constitution Unit


Prerogative Powers Project

Word cloud with words associated with prerogative powers: reserve powers, war powers, recall of parliament, dissolution

Professor Robert Hazell is part of a SSHRC-funded research project which compares how the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand are seeking to regulate prerogative powers. These are powers belonging to the Crown, but exercised mainly by Ministers. The most important are the war making power, ratification of Treaties, making public appointments, and the organisation of the civil service. 

In the UK all these executive powers have come under tighter parliamentary control in recent years. The King's personal prerogative powers are also more tightly regulated, through codification in the Cabinet Manual of the conventions about government formation, and statutory restriction of the power to dissolve parliament, and control by the courts of the power of prorogation.

Robert Hazell’s 2019 paper explaining the tighter regulation of prerogative powers in the UK can be found here and his presentation slides here.

The paper was delivered to the inaugural workshop of this 5 year research project, in Ottawa in October 2019. The project is led by Philippe Lagassé, Norman Paterson School of International Affairs, Carleton University, with an interdisciplinary research team of political scientists and legal scholars:

  • Eric Adams, Faculty of Law, University of Alberta
  • Anne Twomey, University of Sydney Law School
  • Andrew Banfield, School of Politics and International Relations, Australian National University
  • Leonid Sirota, Auckland University of Technology, Law School
  • Robert Hazell, The Constitution Unit, University College London
  • Sebastian Payne, Kent Law School, University of Kent

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