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Crucial decisions are often made under the royal prerogative in relation to defence, foreign policy, immigration, the secret services and the management of the Civil Service without prior Parliamentary approval, adequate political accountability or effective judicial review. On this basis, ministers withhold passports, override statutes and legislate in the Council of Ministers of the European Community.;This text examines the historical development and the legal and political scope of prerogative powers and Crown immunities as they affect the exercise of rights by citizens and non-citizens. It traces the changing relationship between individual and state, from subjecthood and allegiance to the Crown in a secretive state, to participating in legal and political citizenship in an open society and a widening British and European context. It addresses issues of key importance in the current constitutional debate about political and legal accountability, citizenship and human rights.