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Prerogative ( Latin praerogatio , privilege ' ) denotes the privileges of a monarch to which he is entitled without being legally bound.

Absolute Monarchy

In absolutism , the monarch alone has the power to rule, without being tied to the participation or approval of other political bodies ( estates or parliament ) ( princeps legibus solutus ).

Constitutional monarchy

In constitutional monarchies , power is restricted by a constitution . State power is divided ( separation of powers ), but the monarch has strong rights of reservation (prerogatives) vis-à-vis parliament and courts, for example in the form of power rulings and cabinet justice .

Prerogatives existed in many European monarchies in some cases until the 20th century. In the narrower and proper sense, princely prerogatives are understood to mean those rights which the sovereign in constitutional monarchies had vis-à-vis the estates or representatives of the people and in which they had no right to participate. This included the right to convene, open and close or adjourn the chambers as well as the provisions on the duration of the session. According to most constitutional documents , the monarch could even dissolve the assembly of estates before the end of the statutory legislative period and arrange for new elections .

The monarch had the right of initiative vis-à-vis the estates , that is, the right to submit bills to the chambers. He also had the right to sanction the decisions of the Chamber, combined with the power to publish the decisions of the parliament that were thereby made law, just as he could deny these decisions by his veto .

With John Locke (1689) the prerogative is the “power, without prescription of the law, sometimes even against the law, to provide for the public good according to one's own decision” ( Two Treatises of Government , Two Treatises on Government  II, § 160).

For example, in the constitution for the German Empire of 1871 , the emperor had some significant prerogatives. Its prerogatives severely restricted the Reichstag's right to participate. The prerogatives of the German emperor included:

  • the supreme command of the army
  • the decision about war and peace
  • the external representation of Germany
  • the conduct of foreign policy
  • the appointment of the Reich Chancellor

Parliamentary republic

The parliamentarization of the German Reich, that is, the movement that led to the Reichstag being at the center of power, began with the October reforms in 1918. After that, the Reich Chancellor was responsible to the Reichstag. For popular sovereignty it came with the Weimar Constitution of 1919, where all men and women universal, equal and secret suffrage granted and in Art. 109 all the royal prerogatives were abolished.

In a parliamentary republic like the Federal Republic of Germany , all state authority comes from the people ( Article 20, Paragraph 2, Basic Law). According to Article 20, Paragraph 3 of the Basic Law, the legislation is bound by the constitutional order, the executive and the judiciary are bound by law and justice. According to the principle of the primacy of the law , all state power is legally bound, there must be no legal vacancies .

What has been retained, however, is the Federal President's right of grace ( Art. 60, Paragraph 2, Basic Law), who can remove individual criminal sanctions at his own political discretion.

See also


Web links

Wiktionary: prerogatives  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Wiktionary: prerogative  - explanations of meanings, word origins , synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Prerogative, accessed on June 24, 2017.
  2. ^ Karl Zeiler: Monarchic forms of government 1991.