Prorogation Act of 1867

Prorogation Act 1867
Long title An Act to simplify the Forms of Prorogation during the Recess of the Parliament.
Chapter 30 & 31 Vict. c.81
Territorial extent United Kingdom
Dates
Royal Assent 12 August 1867
Status:
Revised text of statute as amended

The Prorogation Act 1867 (30 & 31 Vict. c.81) is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom which is still in force in the United Kingdom with amendments.[1]

The Prorogation Act of 1867 gave Queen Victoria the right to issue proclamation for the prorogation of the Parliament. She had the right to order the amount of time between the meetings of Parliament. This act was made to simplify prorogation during the recess of Parliament.[2] The Queen had the power to issue the time of Recess of the Parliament, instead of them meeting every 14 days.

The Prorogation Act of 1867

1. Power to Her Majesty to issue proclamation for the prorogation of the Parliament.

Whenever (save as herein-after excepted) Her Majesty shall be pleased, by and with the advice of the Privy Council of Her Majesty, to issue her royal proclamation to prorogue Parliament from the day to which it shall then stand summoned or prorogued to any further day being not less than fourteen days from the date thereof, such proclamation shall, without any subsequent issue of a writ or writs patent or commission under the Great Seal of the United Kingdom, be a full and sufficient notice to all persons whatever of such the royal intention of Her Majesty, and the Parliament shall thereby stand prorogued to the day and place in such proclamation appointed, notwithstanding any former law, usage, or practice to the contrary.

2. Not to apply to prorogation at close of a session.

This Act shall not apply to the case of the prorogation of Parliament at the close of a session.

Cause

In 1688, the Glorious Revolution turned the United Kingdom into a constitutional monarchy. The monarchy led to the Sovereign not having much power. Most of the power had turned onto the Parliament. After almost 200 years of rulers having no power, Queen Victoria began to take more control over the government. The Queen’s making of this act helped consolidate power for the Sovereignty and decrease the power of the Parliament.

In 1797, The Meeting of Parliament Act 1797 was passed by George III that declared how many days were to pass between the “proclamation of a new Parliament to the meeting of Parliament”. According to the Act, 14 days were to pass between the two Parliaments meeting. The Act also stated that if a Parliament had been dissolved and the Writ of Summons had not yet summoned a new Parliament, then the Parliament that was originally dissolved would be placed back into Westminster until the new Parliament was elected. Compared to The Meeting of Parliament Act of 1797, the Prorogation Act of 1867 created more freedom for the Queen to decide how much recess should be given to Parliament in between the times of their meetings.[dubious ]

In 1832, British Parliament passed The Great Reform Act of 1832. The Act took away parliamentary seats from rotten boroughs- cities with a small populations. The Act also increased the number of individuals entitled to vote, increasing the size of the electorate,increased male suffrage to ⅙ of the total male population.The Act gave more power to the general population over society, which resulted in the decrease in power of the Sovereignty.[dubious ] As a result of her decrease in power, Queen Victoria wanted to consolidate her power, by granting the people less power, thus leading her to create the Prorogation Act of 1867 in order to grant more power to the royals.[dubious ]

Effect

The Prorogation Act of 1867 was passed in order to give the Queen power over the recess between sessions of Parliament. The act itself was small a minor act passed during a time of reform within Parliament, and thus went primarily unnoticed by the public. However, the Act preceded the passage of the Second Reform Act three days later, which gave increased suffrage to men throughout England. This, in turn, was a first step that eventually led to increased equality and suffrage in other countries across Europe later in history.

See also

References


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