writ (n.)

Old English writ “something written, piece of writing,” from the past participle stem of writan (see write). Used of legal documents or instruments at least since 1121.

Prerogative (n.)

Origin and meaning of prerogative

special right or privilege granted to someone; characteristic right inhering in one’s nature, office, or position,” late 14c., prerogatif, (in Anglo-Latin from late 13c.), from Old French prerogative (14c.) and directly from Medieval Latin prerogativa “special right,” from Latin praerogativa “prerogative, previous choice or election, privilege.”

Prerogative Writ 

A Prerogative Writ is a historic term for a writ (official order) that directs the behavior of another arm of government, such as an agency, official, or other court. It was originally available only to the Crown under English law, and reflected the discretionary prerogative and extraordinary power of the monarch. The term may be considered antiquated, and the traditional six comprising writs are often called the extraordinary writs and described as extraordinary remedies.

Six writs are traditionally classified as prerogative writs:

  • certiorari, an order by a higher court directing a lower court to send the record in a given case for review;
  • habeas corpus, a demand that a prisoner be taken before the court to determine whether there is lawful authority to detain the person;

  • mandamus, an order issued by a higher court to compel or to direct a lower court or a government officer to perform mandatory duties correctly;
  • prohibition, directing a subordinate to stop doing something the law prohibits;
  • procedendo, to send a case from an appellate court to a lower court with an order to proceed to judgment;
  • quo warranto, requiring a person to show by what authority they exercise a power.

Additionally, scire facias, one of the extraordinary writs, was once known as a prerogative writ.

If it is our intention to hold the men and women who step outside of the authority of their offices accountable for their actions, we must first be held accountable for our own actions/inactions that have led us to this point. And herein the true work begins…

Dawn-michelle, Occupant of the Office of the Accountable Authority for myself.