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Duchy of Cornwall Bill [HL]: Briefing for Lords Stages

Published Tuesday, October 9, 2018

The Duchy of Cornwall Bill [HL] is a private member’s bill introduced by Lord Berkeley (Labour). The Bill received its first reading in the House of Lords on 3 July 2017 and is scheduled to have its second reading on 26 October 2018.

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The Bill seeks to:

  • Allow the title Duke of Cornwall to be granted to the eldest child of the monarch, regardless of gender;
  • Subject the Duchy of Cornwall to income and capital gains tax, beyond the voluntary tax payments currently agreed in the 2013 memorandum of understanding.

It would also provide for the:

  • Removal of the presumption of crown immunity for the Duchy of Cornwall, except where expressly provided for;
  • Removal of specific exemptions and immunities from the Duchy of Cornwall;
  • Amendment of the Duchy of Cornwall Management Act 1863 to allow the Duchy of Cornwall to purchase lands in the United Kingdom, currently it is restricted to purchasing lands in England;
  • Requirement that a lawyer appointed in the legal affairs of the Duchy be called to the Bar or hold a practising certificate as applicable;
  • Removal of the right of the Treasury solicitor, or anyone in the Treasury solicitors employ, to provide advice to, or bring or act in any proceedings on behalf of, the Duchy of Cornwall, or any Duke of Cornwall in respect of the Duchy of Cornwall.

This briefing sets out background to the creation of both the title and the Duchy, before examining these two issues, as addressed in the Bill, in more detail.

Lords Library notes LLN-2018-0100

Author: Heather Evennett

Topics: Constitution, Crown, Parliament

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The House of Lords Library delivers research and information services to Members and staff of the House in support of parliamentary business.