Orders in Council

Some Government powers are exercised by Order in Council; three or four Privy Councillors meet with Her Majesty to give formal approval to Orders drafted by the government. For example, the Consumer Protection Act 1987 (Product Liability) (Modification) Order 2000 extended the scope of consumer protection law to agricultural products, to comply with a European Directive. Matters of foreign affairs are often dealt with by Order in Council, as for example the Afghanistan (United Nations Sanctions) Order 2001.

Orders in Council having general effect are often treated as if they were Statutory Instruments: the difference is unimportant for most purposes. But Orders in Council are also used to dissolve Parliament in preparation for a general election, to grant or amend royal charters and university statutes, for various organisational matters in the Church of England, and in certain kinds of legislation for the Isle of Man, the Channel Islands, and the few remaining Colonies.

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