Bill of Rights

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The 'glorious revolution' of 1688 brought about the downfall of King James II of England (who was also James VII of Scotland); the new monarchs, William and Mary, were obliged in 1689 to accept the terms of the Bill of Rights, which substantially reduced the prerogative powers of the monarchy, and laid the foundation for the principle of Parliamentary supremacy. In particular, the Bill made it unlawful for the monarch to: (i) levy taxes; (ii) maintain an army; (iii0 make, modify or suspend laws; and (iv) constitute courts without Parliamentary authority. It also made the operation of Parliament (including all debates and speeches) beyond legal challenge in the courts, and provided for the free election of its Members. In Scotland the Claim of right, which had similar provisions, was enacted in the same year (1689).

See also Constitutional legislation.

Public Law