HC Deb 12 May 1881 vol 261 cc268-9

asked the Secretary of State for the Homo Department, Whether, in the case of a Petition of Right by an individual seeking to restrain an interference, or threatened interference, by the War Department, or any other Department of the State, with his private property, it is the practice that a "fiat" should issue forth with, or whether Her Majesty's Government assume to themselves the discretion of advising Her Majesty to delay or withhold the "fiat," at the risk of a differing or negation of justice to the subject, within the meaning of Magna Charta?


in reply, said, there had been no departure from Magna Charta in the cases referred to. The same rule was observed that had been observed for centuries. The Government had no right arbitrarily to refuse a Petition of Right. A case for a Petition of Right first went before the Secretary of State, who referred it to the Attorney General for his advice. The question whether it should be granted or not was referred to the Attorney General; and every care was taken not to deprive an applicant of an opportunity of enforcing any right he might have to redress. There were, however, some rights which could not be enforced.