views updated May 18 2018

prorogation is the royal power, now exercised by the prime minister, to suspend the session of Parliament. Since 1854 the sovereign has not appeared in person but has delegated the task to commissioners. Prorogation suspends all parliamentary activity save impeachment and the judicial work of the House of Lords. Bills must be reintroduced. Clearly the prerogative of prorogation, like dissolution, could be used tactically, to allow time for negotiation or for tempers to cool. Charles I prorogued Parliament in June 1628 rather than listen to more remonstrances against tonnage and poundage. When he prorogued the 1629 Parliament, the Speaker was held down in his chair to allow protests against innovations in religion. The prorogation was followed by a dissolution and eleven years elapsed before another parliament sat.

J. A. Cannon


views updated May 18 2018


Prolonging or putting off to another day. The discontinuation or termination of a session of the legislature, parliament, or the like. Inenglish law, a prorogation is thecontinuanceof the parliament from one session to another, as an adjournment is a continuation of the session from day to day. Incivil law, giving time to do a thing beyond the term previously fixed.