Clerk of the Crown in Chancery

6.43The Clerk of the Crown in Chancery (who is also the Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Justice) is appointed under royal sign manual.1 The Clerk of the Crown and their Deputy are officers of both Houses.2 The Clerk of the Crown in Chancery has responsibilities in the House of Lords relating to the issue of Writs of Summons and for the preparation of Letters Patent creating a peerage, and in the Commons for issuing writs for parliamentary elections, directed to the returning officers for all constituencies in Great Britain.3 It is also the Clerk of the Crown's duty to prepare certain documents (Commissions for Royal Assent and Prorogation, Commissions for the Opening of Parliament, Deputy Speakers' Commissions) by which the Sovereign's commands are conveyed to one or other House or to Parliament. The Clerk of the Crown or their Deputy also takes part in the signification by Commission of Royal Assent to Acts of Parliament, and in the introduction of a Clerk of the Parliaments.4


  1. Great Seal (Offices) Act 1874, s 8.
  2. See Erskine May (21st edn, 1989), pp 177, 191.
  3. Representation of the People Act 1983, sch 1; Parliamentary Elections Rules, r 3. In relation to an election for a constituency in Northern Ireland, ‘Clerk of the Crown’ means the Clerk of the Crown for Northern Ireland, who has to transmit the name of the elected candidate to the Clerk of the Crown in England: Parliamentary Elections Rules, r 51(5).
  4. For further information, see Erskine May (24th edn, 2011), pp 119–20.