This that states royal assent must be granted

This essay will demonstrate
the meaning of royal prerogative powers, who and how it is still exercised in
our present day as it is a main factor in the UK’s constitution. It will also
illustrate criticism over if it is an act of democracy as these powers are
unlimited and undefined especially the deployment of armed forces due to the
parliamentary and judicial scrutiny not being strict and considered symbolic.

   The royal prerogative powers have originated
from the 13th century, which means the special power, immunity that
belongs to the queen. However since the 19th century, the UK has
changed from being an absolute monarchy to a constitutional monarchy where the
powers that were strictly exercised by the Queen is now extended to the
ministers in the name of the crown who are accountable to the parliament by
convention. Courts accept this set of legal powers as a part of the common law,
which are only exercised upon the advice of the PM and ministers by convention,
however in case of emergency the Queen can exercise her powers without their
consent. A.V Dicey defined it as “the residue of discretionary power left at
any moment in the hands of the crown”.

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   That being said, the royal prerogatives have
been split into two types of power. The executive prerogatives which belongs to
the central government acting on behalf of the crown and the personal
prerogatives which is exercised strictly by the Queen. The personal prerogative
tackles the dissolution of parliament and holding general election upon request
of the PM that never obtained a refusal since 1834, appointment of the PM who
has to be chosen from the absolute wining party of the house of the commons.
Royal assent is required for a Bill to become an act; no Bill has been rejected
since the refusal of Scotch Militia Bill in 1707. Lastly the dismissal of
ministers example the dismissal of the PM of the UK “Melbourne” in 1834. Most
of the personal prerogatives powers are executed upon advice of the PM and her
personal intervention is very limited due to a convention that states royal
assent must be granted by the crown. Democracy and personal prerogative powers
go hand in hand and is intact.

   We now come to view the executive
prerogative powers that tackles foreign affaires which is the relation between the
UK and other countries, ratifying treaties example treaties of the EU,
appointment of ministers and judges by the PM, and deployment of armed forces
overseas for war which is the most controversial subject that I will discuss
further as it is not seen as act of democracy due to it being exclusively in hands
of the PM. The UK constitution does not state the requirement of approval from
the parliament or limitations on the PM and cabinets in deploying armed forces.
That is where the criticism begins to have weak parliamentary and judicial
scrutiny over prerogative powers in the UK reflecting the lack of democracy.

   Courts play a role in scrutiny of
prerogative powers to define limits and questions of how they are used, the
case of proclamations 1611 helped establish this role. Courts affirmed no new
prerogative will be recognized by them British Broadcasting Corporation v Johns
1965. In addition Human Rights Acts 1988 provided more grounds to courts to
terminate the exercise of unfair prerogative powers example R v Secretary of
the state for foreign and common wealth affairs. To be subjected to the
judicial review it must be an appropriate subject to courts trial like the case
stated earlier, however foreign affaires, national security example deployment of
armed forces, and crown proceedings act 1947 powers exercised by the Queen are
not matters suitable to be determined by courts since 1985. As for the
parliament role in scrutiny has been implemented by Bill of rights 1689 that
states the parliament’s consent is required for the maintenance of armed forces
during times of peace. In other words parliamentary scrutiny is where the
parliament must be consulted in cases of deployment of the army by convention example
the invasion of Iraq in 2003 where the British parliament approved that created
a precedent for future actions like in 2011 with parliament voting for Libya no
fly zone and their refusal for air strikes over Syria in 2013, but was
considered to be symbolic and not binding to the government as the UK’s
constitution does not state the obligation to obtain the parliament’s approval.

   Due to what has been stated many criticism
came to surface regarding these powers especially with deploying armed forces,
its legality and accountability. At the same time opposition from parliament
may indicate lack of support on their behalf towards their country’s interests.
This issue reflects loopholes on a modern democratic state and a reform must
take place to obtain a relationship between the government and the people and
strengthen scrutiny. Indeed in march 2004 to strengthen ministerial
accountability in parliament, the house of commons public administration select
committee published a report “taming the prerogatives” which illustrated the
lack of parliamentary approval over the prerogatives and called for more
oversight. In addition the House of Lords constitution committee looked into
the use of prerogatives to declare war and again parliamentary oversight.
Basically both houses looked into legitimacy and accountability for troops
deployment to be domestically supported by parliament to legitimatize the act,
Checks and Balances to ensure the PM and cabinets have consensus for deploying
the forces rather than it being strictly up to the PM, Have specific authority
to exercise such power to be on date with our modern world due to it being
viewed not democratic.

   On the other hand, many opposed this notion
by showcasing disadvantages of the reforms. Firstly if these subjects were
overviewed by the parliament the factor of secrecy and surprise would be lost
due to access to information, loss of clarity and coordination due to debate
that would be held, more time consuming, loss of morals by troops If felt their
actions are being debated and not automatically supported by their nation, finally
parliament involvement will also raise legal challenges in courts on statuary
basis and as to when the government can invoke 
“emergency caveat”.

   To conclude, the prerogatives will always be
a main factor of the UK’s constitution. It is used to this day since the 13th
century but has immensely evolved to fit our present day. Judicial scrutiny
improved since implementing the Human Rights Act and the parliamentary by the
Bill of Rights 1689. However the dilemma to whether it is a good step to
strengthen scrutiny is still in question, as for now it is weak and does not
reflect well on a democratic state, and as a whole the matter shows flaws in
the political system as a whole.

 

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