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Prerogative in United Kingdom

Meaning of Prerogative

The following is an old definition of Prerogative [1]: That special preeminence which tlie king hath over and above all other persons, and out of the course of the common law, in right of his regal dignity. That law in case of the king which is law in no case of the subject. According to Vattel, the ” prerogatives of majesty ” are all the prerogatives without which the sovereign command, or authority, could not be exerted in the manner most conducive to the public welfare. One of these prerogatives is the right of eminent domain. Prerogative writs. Certiorari, prohibition, procedendo, mandamus, quo warranto, and habeas corpus: writs which do not issue without showing why the extraordinary power of the crown is called to the party’s assistance. Some of the prerogative writs have been, in this country, largely shorn of their prerogative character, so far as their general use is concerned. In the United States, the cases proper for the issue of prerogative writs are largely defined by statutes. Before the passage of these statutes no such writ is- sued purely of right, but in the exercise of a sound judicial discretion, which took into consideration the general welfare of the community. See the writs named.


Notes and References

  1. Concept of Prerogative provided by the Anderson Dictionary of Law (1889) (Dictionary of Law consisting of Judicial Definitions and Explanations of Words, Phrases and Maxims and an Exposition of the Principles of Law: Comprising a Dictionary and Compendium of American and English Jurisprudence; William C. Anderson; T. H. Flood and Company, Law Publishers, Chicago, United States)

English Law: Prerogative in the Past

The royal prerogative is an arbitrary power vested in the executive to do good and not evil. Rutherf. Inst. 279; Co. Litt. 90; Chit. on Prerog.; Bac. Ab. h. t. [1]


Notes and References

  1. Partialy, this information about prerogative is based on the Bouvier´s Law Dictionary, 1848 edition. There is a list of terms of the Bouvier´s Law Dictionary, including prerogative.

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Schema Summary

  • Article Name: Prerogative
  • Author: David Gordon
  • Description: Meaning of Prerogative The following is an old definition of Prerogative [1]: That special preeminence which tlie king hath [...]

This entry was last updated: March 18, 2020


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