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19 septembre 2011 1 19 /09 /septembre /2011 04:06

Personal life

Major married Norma Johnson (now Dame Norma Major, DBE) on 3 October 1970. She was a teacher and a member of the Young Conservatives. They met onpolling day for the Greater London Council elections in London. He and his wife are one of the few couples who both hold titles in their own right.Sony VAIO VGN-SR90NS Battery

They became engaged after only ten days. They had two children; a son, James, and a daughter, Elizabeth. They have a holiday home on the coast of north Norfolk, near Weybourne, that has round-the-clock police surveillance.

Major's elder brother, Terry, who died in 2007, became a minor media personality during Major's period in Downing Street, with an autobiography, Major Major.Sony VAIO VGN-SR90S Battery

He also wrote newspaper columns, and appeared on TV shows such as Have I Got News For You. He faced criticism about his brother but always remained loyal.

His son James married model Emma Noble on 29 May 1999  and their son Harrison (later diagnosed as autistic) was born the following year.Sony VAIO VGN-SR90US Battery

However, it was announced in April 2003 that the couple had separated They divorced later that year. His daughter Elizabeth married Luke Salter on 26 March 2000,  having been in a relationship since 1988. Salter died on 22 November 2002 from cancer, just months after qualifying as a doctor.Sony VAIO VGN-SR91NS Battery

He is an enthusiastic follower of cricket, motor racing and also a supporter of Chelsea F.C.

In politics and economics, Black Wednesday refers to the events of 16 September 1992 when the British Conservative government was forced to withdraw the pound sterling from the European Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM) after they were unable to keep it above its agreed lower limit.Sony VAIO VGN-SR91PS Battery

George Soros, the most high profile of the currency market investors, made over US$1 billion profit byshort selling sterling.

In 1997 the UK Treasury estimated the cost of Black Wednesday at £3.4 billion, with the actual cost being £3.3 billion which was revealed in 2005 under the Freedom of Information Act (FoI).Sony VAIO VGN-SR91US Battery

The trading losses in August and September were estimated at £800 million, but the main loss to taxpayers arose because the devaluation could have made them a profit. The papers show that if the government had maintained $24 billion foreign currency reserves and the pound had fallen by the same amount, the UK would have made a £2.4 billion profit on sterling's devaluation.Sony VAIO VGN-SR92NS Battery

Newspapers also revealed that the Treasury spent £27 billion of reserves in propping up the pound.


When the ERM was set up in 1979, Britain declined to join. This was a controversial decision, as the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Geoffrey Howe, was staunchly pro-European. Sony VAIO VGN-SR92PS Battery

His successor Nigel Lawson, a believer in a fixed exchange rate, admired the low inflationary record of West Germany. He attributed it to the strength of the Deutsche Mark and the management of the Bundesbank.

Thus although Britain had not joined the ERM, from early 1987 to March 1988 the Treasury followed a semi-official policy of 'shadowing' the Deutsche Mark.Sony VAIO VGN-SR92S Battery

Matters came to a head in a clash between Lawson and Margaret Thatcher's economic adviser Alan Walters, when Walters claimed that the Exchange Rate Mechanism was "half baked". This led to Lawson resigning as chancellor to be replaced by his old protégé John Major, who, with Douglas Hurd, the then Foreign Secretary, Sony VAIO VGN-SR92US Battery

convinced the Cabinet to sign Britain up to the ERM in October 1990, effectively guaranteeing that the British Government would follow an economic  and monetary policy that would prevent the exchange rate between the pound and other member currencies from fluctuating by more than 6%.Sony VAIO VGN-SR93DS Battery

The pound entered the mechanism at DM 2.95 to the pound. Hence, if the exchange rate ever neared the bottom of its permitted range, DM 2.778, the government would be obliged to intervene. With UK inflation at three times the rate of Germany's, interest rates at 15% and the "Lawson Boom" about to bust, the conditions for joining the ERM were not favourable at that time.Sony VAIO VGN-SR93JS Battery

From the beginning of the 1990s, high German interest rates, set by the Bundesbank to counteract inflationary effects related to excess expenditure on German reunification, caused significant stress across the whole of the ERM. The UK and Italy had additional difficulties with their double deficits, Sony VAIO VGN-SR93PS Battery

while the UK was also hurt by the rapid depreciation of the US Dollar – a currency in which many British exports were priced – that summer. Issues of national prestige and the commitment to a doctrine that the fixing of exchange rates within the ERM was a pathway to a single European currency inhibited the adjustment of exchange rates. Sony VAIO VGN-SR93YS Battery

In the wake of the rejection of the Maastricht Treaty by the Danish electorate in a referendum in the spring of 1992, and announcement that there would be a referendum in France as well, those ERM currencies that were trading close to the bottom of their ERM bands came under pressure from foreign exchange traders.Sony VAIO VGN-SR94FS Battery

Currency traders act

The UK's prime minister and cabinet members tried vehemently to prop up a sinking pound and withdrawal from the monetary system the country had joined two years prior was the last resort. Sony VAIO VGN-SR94GS Battery

Major raised interest rates to 10 percent and authorised the spending of billions of pounds to buy up the sterling being frantically sold on the currency markets but the measures failed to prevent the pound falling lower than its minimum level in the ERM.

The Treasury took the decision to defend Sterling's position, believing that to devalue would be to promote inflation.Sony VAIO VGN-SR94HS Battery

On 16 September the British government announced a rise in the base interest ratefrom an already high 10 to 12 percent in order to tempt speculators to buy pounds. Despite this and a promise later the same day to raise base rates again to 15 percent, dealers kept selling pounds, convinced that the government would not stick with its promise.Sony VAIO VGN-SR94VS Battery

By 19:00 that evening, Norman Lamont, then Chancellor, announced Britain would leave the ERM and rates would remain at the new level of 12 percent (however, on the next day interest rate was back on 10%). It was later revealed that the decision to withdraw had been agreed at an emergency meeting during the day betweenNorman LamontSony VAIO VGN-SZ35B/B Battery

Prime Minister John Major, Foreign Secretary Douglas Hurd, President of the Board of Trade Michael Heseltine and Home Secretary Kenneth Clarke (the latter three all being strong pro-Europeans as well as senior Cabinet Ministers), and that the interest rate hike to 15 percent had only been a temporary measure to prevent a rout in the pound that afternoon.Sony VAIO VGN-SZ54B/B Battery


Other ERM countries such as Italy, whose currencies had breached their bands during the day, returned to the system with broadened bands or with adjusted central parities. Even in this relaxed form, ERM-I proved vulnerable, and ten months later the rules were relaxed further to the point of imposing very little constraint on the domestic monetary policies of member states.Sony VAIO VGN-SZ55B/B Battery

The effect of the high German interest rates, and high British interest rates, had been arguably to put Britain into recession as large numbers of businesses failed and the housing market crashed. Some commentators, following Norman Tebbit, took to referring to ERM as an "Eternal Recession Mechanism"  after the UK fell into recession during the early 1990s. Sony VAIO VGN-SZ55GN/B Battery

Whilst many people in the UK recall 'Black Wednesday' as a national disaster, some conservatives claim that the forced ejection from the ERM was a "Golden Wednesday"  which paved the way for an economic revival, the Conservatives handing Tony Blair's New Labour a much stronger economy in 1997 than had existed in 1992 Sony VAIO VGN-SZ56 Battery

as the new economic policy swiftly devised in the aftermath of Black Wednesday led to re-establishment of economic growth with falling unemployment and inflation (the latter of which had already been falling before Black Wednesday).

The economic performance after 1992 did little to repair the reputation of the Conservatives. Sony VAIO VGN-SZ561N Battery

Instead, the government's image had been damaged to the extent that the electorate were more inclined to believe opposition arguments of the time – that the economic recovery ought to be credited to external factors, as opposed to good government policies. Sony VAIO VGN-SZ562N Battery

The Conservatives had recently won the 1992 general election, and the Gallup poll for September showed a 2.5% Conservative lead. By the October poll, following Black Wednesday, their share of the intended vote in the poll had plunged from 43% to 29%, while Labour jumped into a lead which they held almost continuouslySony VAIO VGN-SZ57N Battery

(except for several brief periods such as during the 2000 Fuel Protests) for the next 14 years, during which time they won three consecutive general elections under the leadership of Tony Blair (who became party leader in 1994 following the death of his predecessor John Smith).Sony VAIO VGN-SZ58GN Battery

Her Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council, usually known simply as the Privy Council, is a formal body of advisers to the Sovereign in the United Kingdom. Its membership is mostly made up of senior politicians who are (or have been) members of either the House of Commons or the House of Lords.Sony VAIO VGN-SZ58GN/C Battery

The Privy Council, the modern-day successor to the Privy Council of England, was formerly a powerful institution, but its policy decisions are now exclusively in the hands of one of its committees, the Cabinet. The Council formally advises the Sovereign on the exercise of the Royal Prerogative,Sony VAIO VGN-SZ58N Battery

and together (as the Queen in Council) they issue executive instruments known as Orders in Council, which amongst other things are used to make regulations. The Council by itself also has a delegated authority to issue Orders of Council, which are mostly used to regulate certain public institutions. Sony VAIO VGN-SZ61MN/B Battery

The Council also advises the Sovereign on the issuing ofRoyal Charters, which are used to grant special status to incorporated bodies, and city or borough status to local authorities.

Certain judicial functions are also performed by the Queen in Council, although in practice the actual work of hearing and deciding upon cases is carried out exclusively by the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. Sony VAIO VGN-SZ61VN/X Battery

The Judicial Committee consists of senior judges appointed as Privy Counsellors: Justices of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom, judges of the Court of Appeal of England and Wales, judges of the Court of Appeal in Northern Ireland, judges of the Inner House of the Court of Session (the supreme civil court in Scotland), Sony VAIO VGN-SZ61WN/C Battery

and judges from various other Commonwealth member states. The Council was formerly a supreme court of appeal for the entire British Empire (other than for the United Kingdom itself), and continues to hear appeals from the Crown Dependencies, the British Overseas Territories, and a number of Commonwealth member countries.Sony VAIO VGN-SZ640N/B Battery


During the reigns of the Norman monarchs, the English Crown was advised by a royal court, which consisted of magnates, ecclesiastics and high officials. The body originally concerned itself with advising the Sovereign on legislation, administration and justice.Sony VAIO VGN-SZ645P3 Battery

Later, different bodies assuming distinct functions evolved from the court. The courts of law took over the business of dispensing justice, while Parliament became the supreme legislature of the kingdom.[2] Nevertheless, the Council retained the power to hear legal disputes, either in the first instance or on appeal.Sony VAIO VGN-SZ650N/C Battery

Furthermore, laws made by the Sovereign on the advice of the Council, rather than on the advice of Parliament, were accepted as valid. Powerful Sovereigns often used the body to circumvent the courts and Parliament. For example, a committee of the Council—which later became the Court of the Star Chamber—Sony VAIO VGN-SZ660N/C Battery

was during the fifteenth century permitted to inflict any punishment except death, without being bound by normal court procedure.  During Henry VIII's reign, the Sovereign, on the advice of the Council, was allowed to enact laws by mere proclamation. The legislative pre-eminence of Parliament was not restored until after Henry VIII's death.Sony VAIO VGN-SZ670N/C Battery

Though the royal Council retained legislative and judicial responsibilities, it became a primarily administrative body.[7] The Council consisted of forty members in 1553,[8] but the Sovereign relied on a smaller committee, which later evolved into the modern Cabinet.Sony VAIO VGN-SZ680ND Battery

By the end of the English Civil War, the monarchy, House of Lords and Privy Council were abolished. The remaining house of Parliament, the House of Commons, instituted a Council of State to execute laws and to direct administrative policy. The forty-one members of the Council were elected by the Commons;Sony VAIO VGN-SZ691N/X Battery

the body was headed by Oliver Cromwell, the de facto military dictator of the nation. In 1653, however, Cromwell became Lord Protector, and the Council was reduced to between thirteen and twenty-one members, all elected by the Commons. In 1657, the Commons granted Cromwell even greater powers, some of which were reminiscent of those enjoyed by monarchs. Sony VAIO VGN-SZ71E/B Battery

The Council became known as the Protector's Privy Council; its members were appointed by the Lord Protector, subject to Parliament's approval.

In 1659, shortly before the restoration of the monarchy, the Protector's Council was abolished.Sony VAIO VGN-SZ71VN/X Battery

Charles II restored the royal Privy Council, but he, like previous Stuart monarchs, chose to rely on a small committee of advisers.[10] Under George I even more power passed to this committee. It now began to meet in the absence of the Sovereign, communicating their decisions to him after the fact. Sony VAIO VGN-SZ71WN/C Battery

Thus the Privy Council, as a whole, ceased to be a body of important confidential advisers to the Sovereign; the role passed to a committee of the Privy Council, now known as the Cabinet.

Origin of the term

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the definition of the word "privy" in Privy Council is an obsolete one meaning "of or pertaining exclusively to a particular person or persons; Sony VAIO VGN-SZ750N/C Battery

one's own", insofar as the Council is personal to the Sovereign. It is closely related to the word "private".


The Sovereign, when acting on the Council's advice, is known as the "King-in-Council" or "Queen-in-Council".Sony VAIO VGN-SZ75B/B Battery

The members of the Council are collectively known as "The Lords of Her Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council" (sometimes "The Lords and others of ..."). The chief officer of the body is the Lord President of the Council, who is the fourth highest Great Officer of State, a member of the Cabinet, and normally, the Leader of either the House of Lords or the House of Commons.Sony VAIO VGN-SZ76 Battery

Another important official is the Clerk, whose signature is appended to all orders made in the Council .

Both "Privy Counsellor" and "Privy Councillor" may be correctly used to refer to a member of the Council. The former, however, is preferred by the Privy Council Office,Sony VAIO VGN-SZ770N/C Battery

emphasising English usage of the term "Counsellor" as "one who gives counsel", as opposed to "one who is a member of a council." A Privy Counsellor is said to be "sworn of" the Council when he or she first joins it.

The Sovereign may appoint anyone a Privy Counsellor, but in practice appointments are made only on the advice of the Government,Sony VAIO VGN-SZ77N Battery

and generally consist only of senior members of parliament, the church and judiciary. There is no limit to the numbers sworn in as members. As of August 2008 there are 538 members.  However, the members have no right to attend all meetings of the Privy Council, and only some are summoned to each meeting (in practice at the Prime Minister's discretion).Sony VAIO VGN-SZ780 Battery

The Church of England's three senior bishops—the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Archbishop of York[22] and the Bishop of London are made Privy Counsellors on their appointment. Senior members of the Royal Family may also be appointed[22]—Prince Philip is a member, Sony VAIO VGN-SZ78N Battery

the most senior at present in terms of service, and is the only present member not to be appointed by the current monarch, having been appointed to the council by her father. The Private Secretary to the Sovereign is always appointed to the Council.Sony VAIO VGN-SZ791N/X Battery

Several senior judges—Justices of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom,  judges of the Court of Appeal of England and Wales, judges of the Court of Appeal in Northern Ireland  and judges of the Inner House of the Court of Session (the highest court in Scotland) —are also named to the Privy Council.Sony VAIO VGN-SZ84NS Battery

The bulk of Privy Counsellors, however, are politicians. The Prime Minister, ministers in the cabinet, and the Leader of the Opposition must be sworn of the Privy Council on appointment. Leaders of large parties in the House of Commons, First Ministers of the devolved assemblies,Sony VAIO VGN-SZ84PS Battery

some senior ministers outside the cabinet,  and on occasion senior Parliamentarians  are appointed Privy Counsellors. As Privy Counsellors are bound by their oath to keep matters discussed at Council meetings secret, the appointment of the leaders of Opposition parties as Privy Counsellors allows the Government to share confidential information with them "on Privy Council terms".Sony VAIO VGN-SZ84S Battery

This usually only happens in special circumstances, such as in matters of national security. For example, Tony Blair met Leader of the Opposition Iain Duncan Smith and Leader of the Liberal Democrats Charles Kennedy on privy council terms to discuss the evidence for Iraq's weapons of mass destruction.Sony VAIO VGN-SZ84US Battery

Although the Privy Council is primarily a British institution, officials from some other Commonwealth realms are also appointed to the body.[22] By 2000, the most notable instance was New Zealand, whose Prime Minister, senior politicians, Chief Justice and Court of Appeal judges were conventionally made Privy Counsellors.Sony VAIO VGN-SZ85NS Battery

However, appointments of New Zealand members have since been discontinued. The Prime Minister, the Speaker and the Governor General of New Zealand are still granted the prefix Right Honourable, but without membership in the council.  Until the latter part of the 20th century, the prime ministers and chief justices of Canada and Australia were also appointed to Privy Counsellors.Sony VAIO VGN-SZ85S Battery

Prime Ministers of some other Commonwealth countries which retain the Queen as their sovereign continue to be sworn as Privy Counsellors.

Privy Council oath

It was formerly regarded by the Privy Council as criminal, and possibly treasonous, to disclose the oath administered to Privy Counsellors as they take office.Sony VAIO VGN-SZ85US Battery

However, the oath was officially made public in a written parliamentary answer in 1998, as follows:

You do swear by Almighty God to be a true and faithful Servant unto the Queen's Majesty, as one of Her Majesty's Privy Council. You will not know or understand of any manner of thing to be attempted, done, or spoken against Her Majesty's Person, Sony VAIO VGN-SZ94NS Battery

Honour, Crown, or Dignity Royal, but you will lett and withstand the same to the uttermost of your Power, and either cause it to be revealed to Her Majesty Herself, or to such of Her Privy Council as shall advertise Her Majesty of the same. You will, in all things to be moved, treated, and debated in Council, faithfully and truly declare your Mind and Opinion,Sony VAIO VGN-SZ94PS Battery

according to your Heart and Conscience; and will keep secret all Matters committed and revealed unto you, or that shall be treated of secretly in Council. And if any of the said Treaties or Counsels shall touch any of the Counsellors, you will not reveal it unto him, but will keep the same until such time as, by the Consent of Her Majesty,Sony VAIO VGN-SZ94S Battery

or of the Council, Publication shall be made thereof. You will to your uttermost bear Faith and Allegiance unto the Queen's Majesty; and will assist and defend all Jurisdictions, Pre-eminences, and Authorities, granted to Her Majesty, and annexed to the Crown by Acts of Parliament, or otherwise, against all Foreign Princes,Sony VAIO VGN-SZ94US Battery

Persons, Prelates, States, or Potentates. And generally in all things you will do as a faithful and true Servant ought to do to Her Majesty. So help you God.

Privy Counsellors can choose to affirm their allegiance in similar terms if they prefer not to take a religious oath.Sony VAIO VGN-SZ95NS Battery

Term of office

Membership is generally for life. Formerly, the death of a monarch brought an immediate dissolution of the Council, as all Crown appointments automatically lapsed. By the 18th century, it was enacted that the Council would not be dissolved until up to six months after the demise of the Crown.Sony VAIO VGN-SZ95S Battery

By convention, however, the Sovereign would reappoint all members of the Council after its dissolution. In practice, therefore, membership continued without a break.  Reappointment was made unnecessary from 1901 when the law was changed to ensure that Crown appointments were wholly unaffected by a change of monarch.Sony VAIO VGN-SZ95US Battery

The Sovereign may however remove an individual from the Council. On 8 June 2011 Elliot Morley was expelled following his conviction on charges of false accounting in connection with an expenses scandal. Before this, the last individual to be expelled from the Council against his will was Sir Edgar Speyer, Sony VAIO VGN-TZ121 Battery

1st Baronet, who was removed on 13 December 1921  for pro-German activities during the First World War. Individuals may choose to resign to avoid expulsion. The last individual to leave the Privy Council voluntarily was Jonathan Aitken, who left on 25 June 1997 following allegations of perjury.Sony VAIO VGN-TZ13 Battery

He was one of only three Privy Counsellors to resign in the twentieth century (the others being John Profumo, who resigned on 26 June 1963, and John Stonehouse, who resigned on 17 August 1976).


Meetings of the Privy Council are normally held once each month wherever the Sovereign may be residing at the time.Sony VAIO VGN-TZ130N/B Battery

The quorum, according to the Privy Council Office, is three,  though some statutes provide for other quorum (for example, section 35 of Opticians Act 1989(c. 44)  provides for a lower quorum of two).

The Sovereign attends the meeting, though his or her place may be taken by two or more Counsellors of State.Sony VAIO VGN-TZ131 Battery

Under the Regency Acts 1937 to 1953,  Counsellors of State may be chosen from amongst the Sovereign's spouse and the four individuals next in the line of succession who are over 21 years of age (18 for the Heir to the Throne).  Normally the Sovereign remains standing at meetings of the Privy Council, so that no other members may sit down,Sony VAIO VGN-TZ132/N Battery

thereby keeping meetings short. The Lord President reads out a list of Orders to be made, and the Sovereign merely says "Approved".

Only a few privy counsellors attend these regular meetings. The settled practice is that day-to-day meetings of the Council are attended by four privy counsellors, usually the Ministers responsible for the matters being approved.Sony VAIO VGN-TZ132N Battery

Unless prevented from attending, the Government Minister holding office as Lord President of the Council is usually among the privy counsellors present.  Under Britain's modern conventions of parliamentary government and constitutional monarchy, Sony VAIO VGN-TZ150N/B Battery

every order made in Council has been drafted by a Government Department and has already been approved by the responsible Ministers—the action taken by the Queen in Council is a mere formality required for the valid adoption of the measure. Sony VAIO VGN-TZ150N/N Battery

Full meetings of the Privy Council are only held when the reigning Sovereign announces his or her own engagement (which last happened on 23 November 1839,  in the reign of Queen Victoria); or when there is a Demise of the Crown, either by the death or abdication of the monarch.Sony VAIO VGN-TZ160CB Battery

A full meeting of the Privy Council was also held on 6 February 1811, when George, Prince of Wales, took the oaths upon entering into the execution of the royal authority as Prince Regent, as required by Act of Parliament.  The current statutes regulating the establishment of a Regency in the case of minority or incapacity of the Sovereign also require any Regents to take their oaths before the Privy Council. Sony VAIO VGN-TZ160N/B Battery

In the case of a demise of the crown, the Privy Council—together with the Lords Spiritual, the Lords Temporal, the Lord Mayor of the City of London, the Aldermen of the City of London and representatives of Commonwealth nations—makes a proclamation declaring the accession of the new Sovereign and receives an oath from the new monarch relating to the security of the Church of Scotland, as required by law. Sony VAIO VGN-TZ16GN/B Battery

It is also customary for the new Sovereign to make an allocution to the Privy Council on that occasion, and the Sovereign's speech is published in the London Gazette. That special assembly of the Privy Council and others held to proclaim the accession of the new Sovereign and to receive the required statutory oath from the monarch,Sony VAIO VGN-TZ16N Battery

is known as an Accession Council. The last such meetings were held on 6 February and 8 February 1952. As the present Queen was abroad when the last Demise of the Crown took place, the Accession Council had to meet twice, once to proclaim the Sovereign (meeting of 6 February 1952), Sony VAIO VGN-TZ16N/B Battery

and then again after the new Queen had returned to Britain, to receive from her the oath required by statute (meeting of 8 February 1952).


The Sovereign exercises executive authority by making Orders-in-Council upon the advice of the Privy Council. Sony VAIO VGN-TZ17/N Battery

Orders-in-Council, which are drafted by the government rather than by the Sovereign, are secondary legislation and are used to make government regulations and to make government appointments. Furthermore, Orders-in-Council are used to grant the Royal Assent to Measures of the National Assembly for Wales, and laws passed by the legislative authorities of British Crown dependencies.Sony VAIO VGN-TZ170N/B Battery

Distinct from Orders-in-Council are Orders of Council. Whilst the former are made by the Sovereign on the advice of the Privy Council, the latter are made by members of the Privy Council without the participation of the Sovereign. They are issued under the specific authority of Acts of Parliament, and are normally used to regulate public institutions.Sony VAIO VGN-TZ170N/N Battery

The Sovereign, furthermore, issues Royal Charters on the advice of the Privy Council. Charters grant special status to incorporated bodies; they are used to grant city and borough status to towns, and "chartered" status to certain professional or educational bodies.Sony VAIO VGN-TZ17GN/B Battery

The Privy Council therefore deals with a wide variety of matters, including university statutes,  graveyards,  coinage, and dates of bank holidays.

The Crown-in-Council also performs certain judicial functions. Within the United Kingdom, the Crown-in-Council hears appeals from ecclesiastical courts,Sony VAIO VGN-TZ17N Battery

the Court of Admiralty of the Cinque Ports, prize courts and the Disciplinary Committee of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, appeals against schemes of the Church Commissioners and appeals under certain Acts of Parliament (e.g., the House of Commons Disqualification Act 1975).Sony VAIO VGN-TZ18/N Battery

The Crown-in-Council was formerly a supreme court of appeal for the entire British Empire,  however a number of Commonwealth countries have now abolished such appeals. The Privy Council does continue to hear appeals from several Commonwealth countries, from British Overseas Territories, Sovereign Base Areas and crown dependencies.Sony VAIO VGN-TZ180N/RC Battery

The aforementioned cases are theoretically decided by the monarch in Council, but are in practice heard and decided by the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council,which consists of senior judges who are Privy Counsellors.  The decision of the Committee is presented in the form of "advice" to the monarch,Sony VAIO VGN-TZ185N/WC Battery

but in practice it is always followed by the Sovereign, who formally approves the recommendation of the Judicial Committee.The Judicial Committee had direct jurisdiction in cases relating to the Scotland Act 1998, the Government of Wales Act 1998 and the Northern Ireland Act 1998, but this was transferred to the new Supreme Court of the United Kingdom in 2009.Sony VAIO VGN-TZ18GN/X Battery

Notable orders

The Civil Service is formally governed by Privy Council orders, as an exercise of the royal prerogative. One such order implemented the government's ban of GCHQ staff from joining a trade union. Another, the Civil Service (Amendment) Order in Council 1997, permitted the Prime Minister to grant up to three political advisers management authority over some civil servants.Sony VAIO VGN-TZ18N Battery

In the 1960s, the Privy Council made an order to evict the 2,000 inhabitants of the 65-island Chagos Archipelago in the Indian Ocean, in preparation for the establishment of joint United States-United Kingdom military base on the largest outlying island Diego Garcia, some 60 miles (97 km) distant. Sony VAIO VGN-TZ190N/B Battery

In 2000 the High Court ruled the 1971 Immigration Ordinance preventing resettlement unlawful. In 2004, the Privy Council, under Jack Straw's tenure, overturned the ruling. In 2006 the High Court of Justice found the Privy Council's decision to be unlawful. Sir Sydney Kentridge, Sony VAIO VGN-TZ190N/BC Battery

QC described the treatment of the Chagossians as "outrageous, unlawful and a breach of accepted moral standards". He said there was no known precedent "for the lawful use of prerogative powers to remove or exclude an entire population of British subjects from their homes and place of birth". Sony VAIO VGN-TZ191N/XC Battery

Rights and privileges of members

Although the Privy Council as a whole is "The Most Honourable", individual Privy Counsellors are entitled to the style "The Right Honourable". Peers who are also members of the Privy Council append the post-nominal letters "PC" to indicate membership as they are already entitled to the style "The Right Honourable" (in the case of barons, viscounts and earls) Sony VAIO VGN-TZ195N/XC Battery

or other higher style (in the case ofdukes and marquesses), even when they are not Privy Counsellors. For commoners, on the other hand, "The Right Honourable" is sufficient identification of status as a Privy Counsellor. The Earl of Mar and Kellie and the Earl of Scarbrough prefer not to be addressed as 'The Rt Hon' at all on the grounds that the prefix more properly belongs to Privy Counsellors.Sony VAIO VGN-TZ198N/RC Battery

The Ministry of Justice takes a similar position.

Privy Counsellors are entitled to positions in the order of precedence in England and Wales.  At the beginning of each new Parliament, and at the discretion of the Speaker, members of the House of Commons who are Privy Counsellors usually take the oath of allegiance before all other members except the Speaker him- or herself and the Father of the House (the most senior member of the House).Sony VAIO VGN-TZ250N/B Battery

Often, whenever a Privy Counsellor rose to make a speech in the House of Commons at the same time as another member, the Speaker would first recognise the Privy Counsellor. This informal custom, however, was considered obsolete by 1998.Sony VAIO VGN-TZ250N/N Battery

Furthermore, only Privy Counsellors can signify, at the monarch's command, the royal consent to the examination of a bill affecting the rights of the Crown.

Privy Counsellors are allowed to sit on the steps to the Sovereign's Throne in the House of Lords Chamber during debates. Sony VAIO VGN-TZ250N/P Battery

They share this privilege with hereditary Lords who were members of theHouse of Lords before the reform of 1999, diocesan bishops of the Church of England (who are not yet Lords Spiritual), retired bishops who formerly sat in the House of Lords, the Dean of Westminster, Sony VAIO VGN-TZ27/N Battery

Peers of Ireland, the eldest child of members of the House of Lords, the Clerk of the Crown in Chancery and the Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod.

Each Privy Counsellor has the individual right of personal access to the Sovereign. Sony VAIO VGN-TZ270N/B Battery

Peers are considered to enjoy the same right individually; members of the House of Commons possess the right collectively. In each case, personal access may only be used to tender advice on public affairs.

Other councils

The Privy Council is one of the four principal councils of the Sovereign.Sony VAIO VGN-TZ27N Battery

The other three are the courts of law, the Commune Concilium (Common Council, or Parliament) and the Magnum Concilium(Great Council, or the assembly of all the Peers of the Rea

lm). All are still in existence, or at least have never been formally abolished, but the Magnum Concilium has not been summoned since 1640 and was considered obsolete then.Sony VAIO VGN-TZ28/N Battery

Several other Privy Councils have advised the Sovereign. England and Scotland (see Privy Council of Scotland) once had separate Privy Councils, but the Acts of Union 1707, which united the two countries into the Kingdom of Great Britain, replaced both with a single body. Sony VAIO VGN-TZ285N/RC Battery

Ireland, on the other hand, continued to have a separate Privy Council even after the Act of Union 1800. The Privy Council of Ireland was abolished in 1922, when the southern part of Ireland separated from the United Kingdom; it was succeeded by the Privy Council of Northern Ireland, which became dormant after the suspension of the Parliament of Northern Ireland. Sony VAIO VGN-TZ28N Battery

No further appointments have been made since then, and no more than seven appointees were still living as of December 2010.

Canada has had its own Privy Council—the Queen's Privy Council for Canada—since 1867.Sony VAIO VGN-TZ290EAB Battery

While the Canadian Privy Council is specifically "for Canada", the Privy Council discussed above is not "for the United Kingdom"; in order to clarify the ambiguity where necessary, the latter is referred to as the Imperial Privy Council. Equivalent organs of state in other Commonwealth realms, such as Australia and New Zealand, are called Executive Councils.Sony VAIO VGN-TZ290EAN Battery,Sony VAIO VGN-TZ290EAP Battery,Sony VAIO VGN-TZ295N/XC Battery,Sony VAIO VGN-TZ298N/XC Battery,Sony VAIO VGN-TZ33/B Battery,Sony VAIO VGN-TZ33/N Battery,Sony VAIO VGN-TZ33/W Battery

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