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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 Departmental Fault

Resignations for Departmental Fault

(p.87) 6 Resignations for Departmental Fault
Ministers and Parliament


Oxford University Press

Resignations on the basis of individual ministerial responsibility are an acceptance of fault. In some cases, resignations are submitted on the basis of errors in judgement that lead to faulty performance of a department. Whichever the case may be, the classic statements of responsibility, instead of being accompanied by explanation, have often been used to evade accountability. The doctrine of ministerial responsibility therefore became a shield to protect the Prime Minister and the government, instead of a constitutional procedure to ensure accountability. This chapter presents several cases, all with background information as well as what transpired in the end, related to these types of resignations, mainly linked to departmental fault. While the situations may be a lot more complicated as compared to individual errors in judgment or misdemeanor, several cases have been accomplished in the past related to this.

Keywords:   errors in judgement, resignations, acceptance of fault, responsibility, accountability, departmental fault, ministers, Parliament

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