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Ministers and ParliamentAccountability in Theory and Practice$
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Diana Woodhouse

Print publication date: 1994

Print ISBN-13: 9780198278924

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198278924.001.0001

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Resignations for Personal Fault: Political Errors

Resignations for Personal Fault: Political Errors

(p.47) 4 Resignations for Personal Fault: Political Errors
Ministers and Parliament


Oxford University Press

Resignations are considered examples of individual ministerial responsibility, even if it was forced for political reasons. There are also indications in Parliament of undertones of constitutional obligation. At times, however, there may be an overlap between individual and collective responsibility. Under the terms of individual ministerial responsibility, a minister who commits a serious error of political judgement may be required by Parliament to resign. In these cases, the emphasis here is on personal fault, for which few could also deny the occurrence, rather than on a collective view held by the government. This chapter presents various cases to show what has occurred in real situations in the past. These cases show some overlap of both individual and collective responsibility.

Keywords:   resignations, ministers, collective responsibility, personal fault, political errors, Parliament, collective view, individual responsibility, obligation

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