Command paper

The Interim Taylor Report into the Hillsborough disaster is an example of a command paper.

A command paper is a document issued by the UK Government and presented to Parliament.

White papers, green papers, treaties, government responses, draft bills, reports from Royal Commissions, reports from independent inquiries and various government organisations can be released as command papers, so called because they are presented to Parliament formally "By His Majesty's Command".


Command papers are:

  • produced by government departments
  • printed on behalf of His Majesty's Stationery Office
  • presented to Parliament "by Command of His Majesty" by the appropriate government minister
  • recorded by the House of Commons and the House of Lords
  • published by government departments on
  • subject to statutory legal deposit


Command papers are numbered. Since 1870 they have been prefixed with an abbreviation of "command" which has changed over time to allow for new sequences.

Prefix Dates Numbers
1833–1869 1 to 4222[1]
C. 1870–1899 C.1 to C.9550[1]
Cd. 1900–1918 Cd.1 to Cd.9239[1]
Cmd. 1919–1956 Cmd.1 to Cmd.9889[1]
Cmnd. 1956–1986 Cmnd.1 to Cmnd.9927[2]
Cm. 1986–2018 Cm.1 to Cm.9756
CP 2019– CP 1 upwards

See also


  1. ^ a b c d Williams, G. L. (1982). Learning the Law (11th ed.). London: Stevens. p. 180. ISBN 978-0-420-46290-9.
  2. ^ The Australian Guide to Legal Citation. Third Edition. Melbourne University Law Review Association Inc. Melbourne Journal of Law International Inc. Melbourne. 2010. Page 248.

External links

  • Command papers on GOV.UK
  • UK national government publications at the British Library