THE CONTEMPORARY SYSTEM IN OUTLINE
Autonomy The universities in the United Kingdom are autonomous institutions. They are, without exception, independent corporations, able to own property, to sue and be sued, and to regulate their own affairs within the wide powers granted to them by the instruments of their incorporation. A few of the instruments are Acts of Parliament1 whose operative part is a set of statutes, but the characteristic instrument is a Royal Charter, granted through the Privy Council, also with a set of statutes similar to those under an Act. 2 The charter proper is largely a somewhat magniloquent preamble to the statutes; and though its provisions may sometimes be of interest, it is normally to the statutes that one must turn for any detailed rules about the allocation of powers and responsibilities within the institution.