Front Page Titles (by Subject) Note XII: PROCEEDINGS AGAINST THE CROWN - Introduction to the Study of the Law of the Constitution (LF ed.)
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Note XII: PROCEEDINGS AGAINST THE CROWN - Albert Venn Dicey, Introduction to the Study of the Law of the Constitution (LF ed.) 
Introduction to the Study of the Law of the Constitution, ed. Roger E. Michener (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund 1982).
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PROCEEDINGS AGAINST THE CROWN
Technically it is impossible under English law to bring an action against the Crown, and this impossibility is often said to be based on the principle that the Crown can do no wrong. Hence well-informed foreign critics, and perhaps some Englishmen also, often think that there is in reality no remedy against the Crown, or in other words, against the Government, for injuries done to individuals by either,
This idea is however in substance erroneous.
AS TO BREACH OF CONTRACT
For the breach of a contract made with a Government department on behalf of the Crown a Petition of Right will in general lie, which though in form a petition, and requiring the sanction of the Attorney-General (which is never refused), is in reality an action.
Many Government departments, further, such for instance as the Commissioners of Works, who have the general charge of public buildings, are corporate bodies, and can be sued as such.
Contracts made with Government departments or their representatives are made on the express or implied terms of payment out of monies to be provided by Parliament, but the risk of Parliament not providing the money is not one which any contractor takes into consideration.
AS TO WRONGS
Neither an action nor a Petition of Right lies against the Crown for a wrong committed by its servants.
The remedy open to a person injured by a servant of the Crown in the course of his service is an action against the person who has actually done or taken part in doing the wrongful act which has caused damage. But, speaking generally, no injustice results from this, for the Crown, i.e. the Government, usually pays damages awarded against a servant of the State for a wrong done in the course of his service. Actions, for instance, have been constantly brought against officers of the Royal Navy for damage done by collisions with other ships caused by the negligence of such officers. The damage recovered against the officer is almost invariably paid by the Admiralty.
It would be an amendment of the law to enact that a Petition of Right should lie against the Crown for torts committed by the servants of the Crown in the course of their service. But the technical immunity of the Crown in respect of such torts is not a subject of public complaint, and in practice works little, if any, injustice.
It should be further remembered that much business which in foreign countries is carried on by persons who are servants of the State is in England transacted by corporate bodies, e.g. railway companies, municipal corporations, and the like, which are legally fully responsible for the contracts made on their behalf or wrongs committed by their officials or servants in the course of their service.163
See Lowell, The Government of England, ii. pp. 490–494.