Policy paper

Waging war: Parliament's role and responsibility

This publication was published under the 2005 to 2010 Labour government

This document contains the following information: Government response to the House of Lords Constitution Committee's report, fifteenth report of session 2005-06.

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Waging war: Parliament's role and responsibility government response to the House of Lords Constitution Committee's report, fifteenth report of session 2005-06

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This document contains the following information: Waging war: Parliament’s role and responsibility government response to the House of Lords Constitution Committee’s report, fifteenth report of session 2005-06.

The Royal prerogative derives from the constitutional settlement enshrined in the Bill of Rights 1688, and under such powers the Government can declare war and deploy armed forces to conflicts abroad without the consent of Parliament. However, given that the Government agreed to a parliamentary vote before the Iraq war in 2003, there have subsequently been widespread calls for the convention to be established that the Government should always seek Parliamentary approval before taking any action in future conflicts. This document sets out the Government’s response to the Committee’s report (HCP 236-I, session 2005-06; ISBN 0104851244) on the use of the Royal prerogative power in the deployment of armed force outside the UK and the role of Parliament in the decision-making process.

This Command Paper was laid before Parliament by a Government Minister by Command of Her Majesty. Command Papers are considered by the Government to be of interest to Parliament but are not required to be presented by legislation.