The British Peerage: The Legal Standing of the Peerage and Baronetage in the Overseas Realms of the Crown with Particular Reference to New Zealand

New Zealand Universities Law Review, Vol. 17, 1997

22 Pages Posted: 1 Aug 2003

Abstract

In 1976, an article published in the New Zealand Law Journal argued that hereditary titles had no legal status in New Zealand. This conclusion was based on the reasoning that New Zealand was a separate sovereignty from that of the United Kingdom. Peerages created in one sovereignty were not, unlike knighthoods, recognised in another. Therefore, it was argued, the peerages of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain, and the UK had no legal status in New Zealand.

It is my intention to disprove this thesis. I contend that peers and baronets of the United Kingdom can have legal status abroad and indeed do have this status in all those countries of which Her Majesty is Queen. The recent ennoblement of Sir Robin Cooke, lately President of the Court of Appeal of New Zealand, adds contemporary relevance to the examination of this question.

Keywords: peerage, Commonwealth, royal prerogative, honours, prerogative, Crown, monarchy

JEL Classification: K39

Suggested Citation

Cox, Noel S.B., The British Peerage: The Legal Standing of the Peerage and Baronetage in the Overseas Realms of the Crown with Particular Reference to New Zealand. New Zealand Universities Law Review, Vol. 17, 1997, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=420754 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.420754

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