|Case of Proclamations|
|Decided||Michaelmas Term, 1610|
|Transcript(s)||Full text on Bailii|
The Case of Proclamations  EWHC KB J22 is an English constitutional law case during the reign of King James I (1603–1625) which defined some limitations on the Royal Prerogative at that time. Principally, it established that the Monarch could make laws only through Parliament.The judgment began to set out the principle in English law (later developed by future parliaments and other members of the judiciary in subsequent cases, for example Dr. Bonham's Case ) that when a case involving an alleged exercise of prerogative power came before the courts, the courts could determine:
Tudor monarchs believed that they had the power to regulate, through the issue of royal proclamations, without the consent of Parliament. However, the monarch's absolute power to "make" the law was beginning to be challenged by the English judiciary and was raising concern in Parliament itself. The issue of the King's power to make law came before the judges in 1610 when James I and Parliament were struggling over the issue of impositions. Parliament was opposing the King's power to impose further duties on imports over and above what had already been sanctioned by Parliament. James however hoped to use proclamations to raise further money outside of Parliament.
On 20 September 1610, Sir Edward Coke, then Chief Justice of the Common Pleas, was called before the Privy Council of England alongside Lord Chief Justice of the King's Bench Thomas Fleming, Lord Chief Baron Lawrence Tanfield, and Baron James Altham and asked to give a legal opinion as to whether the King, by proclamation, might prohibit new buildings in London, or the making of wheat starch, these having been referred to the King by the House of Commons as grievances and against law.Coke asked for time to consider with other judges, since the questions were "of great importance, and they concerned the answer of the king to the Commons".
Coke and his fellow judges ruled that the power of the King to create new offences was outlawed and that the King could not by proclamation prohibit new buildings in and around London; i.e., the Royal Prerogative could not be extended into areas not previously sanctioned by law:
... the King cannot change any part of the common law, nor create any offence, by his proclamation, which was not an offence before, without parliament.
In giving his judgment, Chief Justice Coke set out the principle that the King had no power to declare new offences by proclamation:
The King has no prerogative but that which the law of the land allows him.
Consequently, the King had no power by which to arbitrarily, through royal proclamations, prohibit the erection of new buildings in London, nor the making of wheat starch without the consent of Parliament, because this power had not previously been granted by Parliament to the King by the making of statute law.
James I did not concede that he could not rule by prerogative and attempted to place all of his proclamations on a constitutional footing, having them published in a book as if they were statutes. He went to argue that proclamations were necessary to "apply speedy, proper, and convenient remedies ... in matters so variable and irregular in their nature, as are not provided for by Law, nor can fitly fall under the certain rule of a law".
In future English history, the issue of proclamations would form part of the many grievances and issues in dispute between both James I and Charles I and their Parliaments before the English Civil War. MPs would go on to cite Coke's judgment in the Case of Impositions to support their arguments against the arbitrary use of royal power in the years up to 1641. Whilst disputed, the case is seen by some historians and jurists as influential in the development of the concept of judicial review in English common law. However, the issue about the extent of the royal prerogative was not properly resolved until the Bill of Rights 1689 "established that the powers of the Crown were subject to law, and there were no powers of the Crown which could not be taken away or controlled by statute".
Over 400 years on, the Case of Proclamations continues to affect the constitutional law of the UK. It was cited in 2017 by a Divisional Court of the High Court in its landmark judicial review decision, R (Miller) v Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union,concerning whether the UK government had the power, under the Crown's foreign affairs prerogative, to serve a notice triggering Brexit following the "leave" vote in the 2016 EU Referendum. The Divisional Court cited two principles from the Case of Proclamations:
The Divisional Court unanimously rejected the government's argument in robust terms (which were subsequently upheld by a majority of the Supreme Court). The court concluded that the government did not have the right to rely on royal prerogative to serve a notice pursuant to Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union, triggering the formal process for the UK to leave the EU. The court added that, because Brexit would directly affect substantive legal rights under UK domestic law, only Parliament could decide whether to serve such a notice.
The Case of Proclamations was again cited in the 2019 Supreme Court case R (Miller) v The Prime Minister and Cherry v Advocate General for Scotland.
The Bill of Rights 1689 is an Act of Parliament seen as a crucial landmark in English constitutional law that sets out certain basic civil rights and clarifies who would be next to inherit the Crown. It received the Royal Assent on 16 December 1689 and is a restatement in statutory form of the Declaration of Right presented by the Convention Parliament to William III and Mary II in February 1689, inviting them to become joint sovereigns of England.
The United Kingdom has four legal systems, each of which derives from a particular geographical area for a variety of historical reasons: English and Welsh law, Scots law, Northern Ireland law, and, since 2007, purely Welsh law. Overarching these systems is the law of the United Kingdom, also known as United Kingdom law. UK law arises from laws applying to the United Kingdom and/or its citizens as a whole, most obviously constitutional law, but also other areas - for instance, tax law.
Sir Edward Coke was an English barrister, judge, and politician who is considered the greatest jurist of the Elizabethan and Jacobean eras.
The Statute of Monopolies 1623 was an Act of the Parliament of England notable as the first statutory expression of English patent law. Patents evolved from letters patent, issued by the monarch to grant monopolies over particular industries to skilled individuals with new techniques. Originally intended to strengthen England's economy by making it self-sufficient and promoting new industries, the system gradually became seen as a way to raise money without having to incur the public unpopularity of a tax. Elizabeth I particularly used the system extensively, issuing patents for common commodities such as starch and salt. Unrest eventually persuaded her to turn the administration of patents over to the common law courts, but her successor, James I, used it even more. Despite a committee established to investigate grievances and excesses, Parliament made several efforts to further curtail the monarch's power. The result was the Statute of Monopolies, passed on 29 May 1624.
A proclamation is an official declaration issued by a person of authority to make certain announcements known. Proclamations are currently used within the governing framework of some nations and are usually issued in the name of the head of state. A proclamation is (usually) a non-binding notice.
Thomas Bonham v College of Physicians, commonly known as Dr. Bonham's Case or simply Bonham's Case, was a case decided in 1610 by the Court of Common Pleas in England, under Sir Edward Coke, the court's Chief Justice, in which it was ruled that Dr. Bonham had been wrongfully imprisoned by the College of Physicians for practising medicine without a licence. The case is notable because Coke argued in the decision's rationale that "in many cases, the common law will control Acts of Parliament", the act of parliament in question being the "College of Physicians Act 1553" which gave the college the right to imprison. The meaning of this phrase has been disputed over the years. According to one interpretation, Coke intended the kind of judicial review that would later develop in the United States, but other scholars believe that Coke meant only to construe a statute, not to challenge parliamentary sovereignty. If Coke intended the former, he may have later changed his view. The statement by Coke is sometimes considered to be an obiter dictum, rather than part of the ratio decidendi of the case. Dr. Bonham's attorneys had argued that imprisonment was reserved for malpractice not illicit practice, with Coke agreeing in the majority opinion.
Federalist No. 78 is an essay by Alexander Hamilton, the seventy-eighth of The Federalist Papers. Like all of The Federalist papers, it was published under the pseudonym Publius.
Demise of the Crown is the legal term in the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth realms for the transfer of the Crown upon the death of the monarch. The Crown transfers automatically to the monarch's heir. The concept evolved in the kingdom of England, and was continued in Great Britain and then the United Kingdom. The concept also became part of the constitutions of the British colonies, and was continued in the constitutions of the Commonwealth realms, until modified within those realms.
Case of Prohibitions  EWHC J23 (KB) is a UK constitutional law case decided by Sir Edward Coke. Before the Glorious Revolution of 1688, when the sovereignty of Parliament was confirmed, this case wrested supremacy from the King in favour of the courts.
Council of Civil Service Unions v Minister for the Civil Service UKHL 9, or the GCHQ case, is a United Kingdom constitutional law and UK labour law case that held the royal prerogative was subject to judicial review.
The United Kingdom constitutional law concerns the governance of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. With the oldest continuous political system on Earth, the British constitution is not contained in a single code but principles have emerged over the centuries from common law statute, case law, political conventions and social consensus.
The royal prerogative is a body of customary authority, privilege, and immunity attached to the British monarch, recognised in the United Kingdom. The monarch is regarded internally as the absolute authority, or "sole prerogative", and the source of many of the executive powers of the British government.
The Constitution of the United Kingdom or British constitution comprises the written and unwritten arrangements that establish the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland as a political body. Unlike in most countries, no attempt has been made to codify such arrangements into a single document, thus it is known as an uncodified constitution. This enables the constitution to be easily changed as no provisions are formally entrenched; the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom recognises that there are constitutional principles, including parliamentary sovereignty, the rule of law, democracy, and upholding international law.
Sir Nicholas Fuller was an English barrister and Member of Parliament. After studying at Christ's College, Cambridge, Fuller became a barrister of Gray's Inn. His legal career there began prosperously—he was employed by the Privy Council to examine witnesses—but was hampered later by his representation of the Puritans, a religious tendency which did not conform with the established Church of England. Fuller was repeatedly in contention with the ecclesiastical courts, including the Star Chamber and Court of High Commission, and was once expelled for the zeal with which he defended his client. In 1593 he was returned as the Member of Parliament for St Mawes, where he campaigned against the extension of recusancy laws. Outside of Parliament, he successfully brought a patents case which not only undermined the right of the Crown to issue patents but accurately predicted the attitude taken by the Statute of Monopolies two decades later.
Sir James Altham was an English judge and briefly a member of parliament. A friend of Lord Chancellor Bacon, Altham opposed Coke but advanced the laws of equity behind the fastness of the Exchequer courts, so long considered almost inferior. Through advanced Jacobean royalism he helped to prosecute the King's enemies and centralise royal power of taxation.
The royal prerogative is a body of customary authority, privilege and immunity, recognized in common law and, sometimes, in civil law jurisdictions possessing a monarchy, as belonging to the sovereign and which have become widely vested in the government. It is the means by which some of the executive powers of government, possessed by and vested in a monarch with regard to the process of governance of the state, are carried out.
Parliamentary sovereignty is an ancient concept central to the functioning of the constitution of the United Kingdom but which is also not fully defined and has long been debated. Since the subordination of the monarchy under parliament, and the increasingly democratic methods of parliamentary government, there have been the questions of whether parliament holds a supreme ability to legislate and whether or not it should.
R (Miller) v Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union is a United Kingdom constitutional law case decided by the United Kingdom Supreme Court on 24 January 2017, which ruled that the British Government may not initiate withdrawal from the European Union by formal notification to the Council of the European Union as prescribed by Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union without an Act of Parliament giving the government Parliament's permission to do so. Two days later, the government responded by bringing to Parliament the European Union Act 2017 for first reading in the House of Commons on 26 January 2017. The case is informally referred to as "the Miller case" or "Miller I".
Prorogation in the United Kingdom is an act in United Kingdom constitutional law that is usually used to mark the end of a parliamentary session. Part of the royal prerogative, it is the name given to the period between the end of a session of the UK Parliament and the State Opening of Parliament that begins the next session. The average length of prorogation since 2000 is approximately 18 days. The parliamentary session may also be prorogued before Parliament is dissolved. The power to prorogue Parliament belongs to the Monarch, on the advice of the Privy Council. Like all prerogative powers, it is not left to the personal discretion of the monarch but is to be exercised, on the advice of the Prime Minister, according to law.
R (Miller) v The Prime Minister and Cherry v Advocate General for Scotland, also known as Miller II and Miller/Cherry, were joint landmark constitutional law cases on the limits of the power of royal prerogative to prorogue the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Argued before the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom in September 2019, the case concerned whether the advice given by the prime minister, Boris Johnson, to Queen Elizabeth II that Parliament should be prorogued in the prelude to the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the European Union was lawful.