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Foundations of Public Law$
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Martin Loughlin

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199256853

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199256853.001.0001

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The Prerogatives of Government

The Prerogatives of Government

13 The Prerogatives of Government
Foundations of Public Law

Martin Loughlin

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the origins of modern government's power of potentia. It argues that this governmental power of potentia initially operated by exploiting the residue of lordship and feudal rights contained within the modern idea of rulership. These feudal and regal rights collectively made up the prerogative powers of the ruler and although in the course of modernization the exercise of these prerogative powers of the king were restricted by constitutional arrangements, these limitations were never entirely comprehensive. With the growth in the responsibilities of modern governments, then, these prerogative powers were exploited. By examining the nature and continuing influence of prerogative powers in modern government, the chapter reveals the ambiguous character of power relations within modern constitutional settlements.

Keywords:   prerogative powers, potential, Locke, power, Woodrow Wilson, Duguit

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