Wikipedia says without citing a source:

The royal pardon can be contrasted with the statutory pardon, which is a pardon issued through an Act of Parliament or an Order-in-Council. The statutory pardon is preferred in most cases.[citation needed][why?]

Are there some statistics available how many of each kind of pardon have been issued in reasonably recent times (make precise as you like, probably depending on the data you can find.)

1 Answer 1


According to the Independent only four royal pardons were issued between 1945 and 2013, including Alan Turing which the article was about.

Under the law subsequently enacted to pardon homosexual consensual acts, it's tens of thousands. I believe that forms the vast bulk of pardons in recent times. Before that there was a blanket pardon awarded to WW1 soldiers executed for desertion.

The use of the royal pardon has decreased since the formation of the Criminal Cases Review Commission in 1997. Before that it was much harder to get a wrongful conviction quashed. The power seems to have been used more extensively in Northern Ireland.

As of 2014:

the Royal Prerogative of Mercy has only been exercised on 2 occasions since April 1997 when the Criminal Cases Review Commission was set up and these were in the cases of Michael Shields and Alan Turing. FOI response

  • Wasn't Turing only pardoned in 2013? That would meet the date of the article.
    – origimbo
    Sep 11, 2019 at 10:22
  • @origimbo I am having a bad day today...
    – richardb
    Sep 11, 2019 at 10:43
  • I'm not sure that's all of them because the phrasing includes 'high-profile', i.e. "Since 1945, only three high-profile pardons have been granted in England and Wales under the Royal Prerogative: to Timothy Evans, Derek Bentley and Michael Shields." Also, it would be interesting to know roughly how many statutory pardons were granted before the Turing Law. Sep 11, 2019 at 14:00

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