Robert Craig: Zombie Prerogatives Should Remain Decently Buried: Replacing the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011 (Part 1)

UK Constitutional Law Association

Editors’ note: This is the first part of a two-part contribution. The second part will be posted tomorrow.

Part 1: Would the prerogative be revived?

I

In the light of widespread dissatisfaction with the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011 (‘FTPA’), the Conservative party manifesto states, at page 43, “We will repeal the Fixed-term Parliaments Act”. This post explores the constitutional implications if, as seems likely, the Conservative Government continues to command a majority in the House of Commons after the election and seeks to convince Parliament to repeal the Act.

The previous system was that Her Majesty could exercise her Royal Prerogative to dissolve Parliament (‘the dissolution prerogative’) which by convention was exercised on the advice of the Prime Minister. That advice was always followed, and rightly so. This will be addressed later.

The Parliament Act 1911 set the maximum term for Parliament to be five years. The FTPA instituted a…

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