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The Royal Prerogative - Essay Example

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The Royal Prerogative

In 1700s, debates regarding the extent of these prerogative powers ensued. This was further aggravated by the execution of one King and the expulsion of Charles I in 1649 and James II in 1688.1 Discussions on the issue culminated with the passing of the 1689 Bill of Rights, which considered the use, and abuse of certain specific royal prerogatives as unlawful. It was concluded that most of the prerogative powers may be exercised only upon the advice of ministers, and although the Monarch retained certain powers which can be exercised independently such as the power of appointment and removal of ministers and ministries, the royal power found it difficult to freely exercise its prerogatives, especially if it is in contravention of the advice of the Parliament2.
The following are some of the powers vested under the Royal Prerogative: (1) Calling for and dissolving of the parliament, calling of elections; (2) Giving of royal assent to legislations; (3) Preparing plans to confer benefits to citizens; (4) Granting of clemency, pardoning of convicts, or reducing penalties thereof; (5) Entering into treaties, declaring war and making peace, controlling the issuance of passports and preventing foreigners from entering the country; (6) Controlling, organizing and disposing of the armed forces; (7) Appointing of judicial officers, ministers, and other public officers; (8) Procuring of ships; (9) Printing of authorized versions of the Holy Bible; etc.

The royal prerogative to establish and enter into diplomatic relations with other countries or states played a significant role in the formation of strategic alliance that has been an important factor in international relations. The wisdom of determining whether or not the country should befriend another country, and which country or countries it should be, is properly laid on the Crown/Monarch. The latter is in a better position to evaluate the conduct of relations with other jurisdictions. The long process of debates and arguments in the Parliament is considered unnecessary as it involves a purely executive function. Also, since it is the Crown/Monarch who personally engages himself in these functions, it is but proper that such power be exercised by him, to the exclusion of the Parliament.

This royal prerogative has played an important role during the time when exploratory navigation of the world has been conducted by the then superpowers. If not for the well-planned tactical alliances made by these superpowers, small countries, which were occupied, could have had a better fight with the occupants and insist their independence.

Presently, the exercise of this royal prerogative to exercise diplomacy still plays a huge role in diplomatic relations. For the superpowers, this is necessary to maintain themselves above all the rest of the countries. The influential countries need to unite in order to validate their claim that they have all the things the world needs, especially in security aspects. For the lowly, undermined countries, diplomacy is the key to seek the protection of the superpowers. In case of conflicts, diplomacy would serve as the license to demand assistance.

Corollary to this prerogative is the power to declare war and send armed forces without the favorable recommendation of the Parliament. This was properly exercised before, as the Crown/Monarch served as the head of state that was presumed to know the proper ...Show more

Summary

The Royal Prerogative is the embodiment of customary powers, privileges, and immunities exercised by the executive (Crown/Monarch), recognized in common law jurisdictions. It originated in the medieval period when the King acted as the head of the kingdom and at the same time, as a feudal lord…
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The Royal Prerogative essay example
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