Law, Convention, and Prerogative

T. R. S. Allan

in Law, Liberty, and Justice

Published in print December 1994 | ISBN: 9780198259916
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191682025 | DOI:

Series: Clarendon Paperbacks

Law, Convention, and Prerogative

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The royal prerogative remains an important legal source of governmental power in the modem constitution. In legal theory, ministers and judges are appointed under the prerogative. As inherent powers of the executive government, originating in those of the medieval kings, their definition remains unsettled. There are residual powers to act in defence of the realm against both external aggression and internal strife. The existence of the royal prerogative seemed to contradict Dicey's conception of the rule of law. He attempted to overcome the contradiction by resort to an account of ‘constitutional morality’. Meanwhile, the Canadian Supreme Court accepted that the main purpose of constitutional conventions is to ensure that the legal framework of the Constitution would be operated in accordance with the prevailing constitutional values or principles of the period.

Keywords: royal prerogative; constitutional morality; Dicey; Canadian Supreme Court; constitutional convention; constitutional law

Chapter.  12636 words. 

Subjects: Constitutional and Administrative Law

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