Privy Council of the United Kingdom facts for kids
- The Cabinet. All cabinet ministers are made Privy Councillors (or Privy Counsellors), as are other important politicians, such as the leaders of the big political parties.
- Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. The most senior judges in England and Wales sit on this committee
Some laws need to be made by the "Queen-in-Council", that is at a meeting of the Queen and the Privy Council. Some jobs are filled by the Queen in Council too. For example when the Queen appoints a new Bishop or Lord Lieutenant she announces her choice at a meeting of the Privy Council.
Meetings of the Privy Council
Once someone is made a member of the Privy Council they are a member for life, but only members of the government are asked to meetings, except for special occasions such as when a new monarch takes the "Accession Oath", a promise to do their best, at a meeting when the Privy Council called the Accession Council
In the past some kings and queens were bored by long meetings of the Privy Council, so they made everyone stand instead of sitting comfortably. The tradition carries on today.
Privy Council Terms
Sometimes the Prime Minister shares information with other politicians on Privy Council Terms. This means that the information must stay secret.
Judicial Committee of the Privy Council
The Law Lords, and retired Law Lords, also form the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. It is the final court of appeal from British colonies an dependent territories, and some commonwealth realms. These countries call it an appeal to The Queen in Council.
The Commonwealth Realms
- Antigua and Barbuda
- Cook Islands and Niue (Associated States of New Zealand)
- St. Christopher and Nevis
- Saint Lucia
- Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
The Overseas dependent Territories
- The Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia (in Cyprus)
- British Virgin Islands
- Cayman Islands
- Falkland Islands
- The Pitcairn Islands
- Saint Helena and dependencies (Ascension Island and Tristan da Cunha)
- Turks and Caicos Islands
Republics in the Commonwealth
Four republics in the commonwealth also use the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council as a court of appeal.
From the Court of Appeal of Brunei the only appeal is to the Sultan of Brunei. The Queen and the Sultan have agreed that the cases are heard by the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council who then advise the Sultan, directly.
The committee hears Appeals to Her Majesty in Council:
- from the Disciplinary Committee of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons;
- against some plans of the Church Commissioners.
- about "devolution issues", (the powers of the Scottish Parliament, or the Northern Ireland or Welsh Assemblies) if
- A law officer refers a Bill, directly to the committee.
- Devolution issues can be referred to the Judicial Committee by -
- certain appellate courts, including the House of Lords, and
- any court or tribunal, if required to do so by the appropriate Law Officer.
- A Law Officer refers "devolution issues" that are not about current bills.
Very rarely the Committee hears:
- Appeals from the Church of England's Court of Arches of Canterbury and the Chancery Court of York.
- Appeals from Prize Courts,which hear the value of ships and their cargo.
- Disputes under the House of Commons Disqualification Act, about whether someone is allowed to be a Member of Parliament
- Appeals from the Court of Admiralty of the Cinque Ports.
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Privy Council of the United Kingdom Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.