Prerogative Writ

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Prerogative Writ

Formerly a court order issued under certain circumstances on the authority of the extraordinary powers of the monarch.

The prerogative writs were procedendo, Mandamus, prohibition, quo warranto, habeas corpus, and certiorari. Today these forms of relief are also called extraordinary remedies and are issued on the strength of the inherent powers of the court to enforce its orders and to do justice. The paper granting a petition for an extraordinary remedy is still called a writ. For example, a writ of certiorari grants the petitioner an opportunity to appeal the decision of a lower court in a case where he or she does not have a right to appeal.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

prerogative writ

n. an historic generic term for any writ (court order) directed to government agencies, public officials or another court.

Copyright © 1981-2005 by Gerald N. Hill and Kathleen T. Hill. All Right reserved.
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"The applicant cannot dispute the legitimacy of the orders with a prerogative writ before they are presented," the court said.
A quo warranto Latin for 'by what warrant?' is a prerogative writ, requiring the individual, to whom it is directed, to show by what authority he holds public office.
'In the event your Commission fails to conduct the election, our client, Barrister Mukhtar Abubakar Usman would not hesitate in instituting a legal action to seek for the intervention of court of justice by obtaining a prerogative writ of mandamus compelling your Commission to conduct the Bye-Election into the seat of senator representing Bauchi South senatorial district forthwith.'
'The DILG, all its bureaus, offices and attached agencies are hereby enjoined to observe the rule of law and ensure the observance of human rights in the place or part of the country where martial law was proclaimed and the prerogative writ of liberty suspended,' he added.
Mandamus in Latin means literally "we command." (12) Historically, the writ of mandamus was considered a "highly prerogative writ, usually issuing out of the highest court of general jurisdiction" in order to direct an "inferior court within the jurisdiction to do some particular thing therein specified, and which appertains to their office or duty." (13) It is a product of the British common law and derived from the Magna Carta--introduced to ampliate justice by preventing "disorders" in the judicial system.
(103) Ellicott Committee suggested that if the Kerr Committee's recommendations were implemented then '[a] person aggrieved will no longer have to run the risk of applying for the wrong remedy'--Australia, Parliament, Report of the Committee of Review on Prerogative Writ Procedure (Ellicott Committee Report), Parl Paper No 56, 1973, 5-6 [19].
What we know now as the "Great Writ" originated as the "prerogative writ of the Crown," (5) its original purpose being to bring people within the jurisdiction into court, rather than out of imprisonment.
In his "Land Use--Prerogative Writ Actions" lecture, Elward discussed all aspects of prerogative writ actions in land use related matters, including the procedural aspects of filing a complaint, establishing the record, and how to deal with planning boards.
Implicitly, however, it indicates that whether the Supreme Court is empowered to issue a particular prerogative writ depends, in the first instance, on whether Congress authorized it to do so.
The broad construction given to a "fundamental liberty interest" is demonstrated by the range of claims cognizable on habeas at common law.(117) As a prerogative writ, habeas corpus required an explanation for any deprivation of an individual's liberty,(118) Courts thus recognized that liberty could be endangered not only by the state, but by private actors as well.(119)
Weintraub, English Origins of Judicial Review by Prerogative Writ: Certiorari and Mandamus, 9 N.Y.L.F.