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The Statute Law Database and the Charter of Pardon

The UK has no single codified documentary constitution along the lines of the Constitution of the United States, it is often said that the country has an "unwritten constitution".

However, most of the constitution does exist in the written form of statutes, court judgments and treaties. The constitution does have some unwritten sources, though, including Parliamentary conventions and the royal prerogatives. The bedrock of the British constitution has traditionally been the doctrine of parliamentary supremacy or parliamentary sovereignty, according to which the statutes passed by Parliament are the UK's supreme and final source of law. It follows that Parliament can change the constitution simply by passing new Acts of Parliament.

The Statute Law Database is a good place for finding all the various constitutional documents for the UK but I can't find the Charter of Pardon.

The UK Statute Law Database

Dear Sir/Madam

I found with great interest your website, the SLD, and I think it is a great tool with which UK subjects can investigate the labyrinth that is the UKs' unwritten constitution.

I have one small request I hope you can help me with. I could not find in your data base or anywhere on the Internet the Charter of Pardon 1508 which I believe has never been rescinded.

The 1508 Charter of Pardon is still on the statute books as was confirmed in the House of Commons in recent years. In 1977 the Plaid Cymru MP Dafydd Wigley in Parliament asked the Attorney General for England and Wales if he would provide the date upon which enactments of the Charter of Pardon of 1508 were rescinded. The reply, received on 14 May 1977, stated that a Stannator's right to veto Westminster legislation had never been formally withdrawn.

I would be very grateful If you could provide me with directions as to how to find this charter in your data base or on another government website.

The response.

Thank you for you kind remarks regarding SLD.

I regret that there is no record on the Statute Law Database of the Charter of Pardon 1508. Neither is it mentioned in the Chronological Table of the Statutes (published by HMSO) which lists all known statutes of the Parliament of England, whether or not repealed. This is what we would expect to find if, as the title would suggest, the document was a Royal Charter and not a statute.

I'm afraid I can't assist you as to where you might find it on any other government website. If you wish to find a copy of the document, you might try the Cornish Studies Library at Cornwall County Council http://www.cornwall.gov.uk/, or alternatively you could try The National Archives , details below.

The National Archives, Kew, Richmond, Surrey,
TW9 4DU.
Tel: +44 (0) 20 8876 3444

Sorry I cannot be of any further assistance in this matter, if you require any further information regarding SLD please do not hesitate to contact me. Kind regards,

Two forum threads on this topic Cornwall 24 and This is NOT England

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