dispensing power

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Was the prerogative or discretion claimed by the monarch of exempting from the operation of statutes in particular cases. The Long Parliament, in its Nineteen Propositions, accused Charles I of making excessive use of it. James II used it to exempt catholic army officers from the Test Act. After James had fled in 1688, the Bill of Rights abolished the suspending power outright and the dispensing power ‘as it hath been assumed and exercised of late’.

Subjects: British History.

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