A major part of the UK’s contingency planning for nuclear war was the system of regional seats of government and regional commissioners; Wikipedia says under such plans, regional commissioners would have ‘absolute power’ in their region, implying the rule of law would be abrogated. Was there ever any legal basis in either prerogative or statute for giving dictatorial control to regional appointees if central government was hit? Or was the assumption that once nuclear war set in, law was not sustainable due to necessity?

  • If the assumption was that law would not be sustainable, it would have made little sense to expect the law establishing the regional commissioners to survive.
    – SJuan76
    May 19, 2021 at 6:03
  • Could you provide a link to the Wikipedia article referred to? May 19, 2021 at 7:49

1 Answer 1



The Civil Defence Act 1948 gave the minister power to establish what became the Regional Seats of Government.

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