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Max Planck Encyclopedia of Comparative Constitutional Law [MPECCoL]

Executive Privilege

Lisa Webley, Virginia Williams

From: Oxford Constitutions (http://oxcon.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2015. All Rights Reserved.date: 06 August 2020

Executive independence — Executive privilege — Heads of state and government — Immunities — Legislative oversight of the executive

Published under the direction of the Max Planck Foundation for International Peace and the Rule of Law.
General Editors: Rainer Grote, Frauke Lachenmann, Rüdiger Wolfrum.

1. Executive privilege is a common law constitutional principle that permits some members of the executive, usually the most senior members such as a president, prime minister, or senior ministers, to withhold certain forms of communication or information from either the courts, from the legislature, or from both, where disclosure of these confidential communications would adversely affect the executive’s exercise of its functions. In some instances, it is also claimed as a constitutional basis for members of the executive to refuse to appear to answer questions...
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