Press Regulation and the Royal Prerogative

13 Pages Posted: 15 Nov 2013

Date Written: November 8, 2013


On 30th October 2013 the UK government intervened in press regulation through the granting of a Royal Charter under the Royal Prerogative. This short paper argues that this intervention is ultra vires and hence unlawful. My argument can be summarised very simply. The law requires a precedent for the exercise of prerogative power. This intervention represents an unprecedented use of the prerogative. It is therefore unlawful. Section I outlines the law’s hostility to novel prerogatives and the novelty of the Press Regulation Charter. Section II canvasses and rejects what I take to be the three most plausible foundations for the new charter. Section III tackles two sources of scepticism about my argument. Section IV places the argument in a slightly wider context and suggests a lawful way of achieving the aims of the charter.

Keywords: prerogative, bancoult, press regulation, ultra vires

Suggested Citation

Tucker, Adam, Press Regulation and the Royal Prerogative (November 8, 2013). Available at SSRN: or

Adam Tucker (Contact Author)

University of Liverpool ( email )

Chatham Street
Liverpool, L69 7ZA
United Kingdom

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