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UK Supreme Court Judges Rule Boris Johnson’s Suspension of Parliament Was Unlawful

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September 24, 2019

Britain’s Parliament was suspended two weeks ago by the Prime Minister in a special prorogation order, signed by the Queen as head of state. Opponents of a no-deal Brexit say it was unlawful.

The UK Supreme Court has ruled Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend Parliament until 14 October was “unlawful”.

The Supreme Court also said the UK Parliament can meet “as soon as possible.”

Britain’s most senior judge, Lady Hale, sitting with 10 other Supreme Court judges, ruled the advice he gave to the Queen was unlawful.

Lady Hale, said: “Parliament, as elected representatives of the people, has a right to a voice… the effect on our elected democracy was extreme”.

The Labour Party leader, Jeremy Corbyn, said the ruling showed the Prime Minister had acted wrongly and he told delegates at the party’s conference in Brighton that Mr Johnson should “consider his position”.

The leader of the Brexit Party, Nigel Farage, said prorogation was the worst political decision which had ever been made and he called on Mr Johnson to fire his adviser, Dominic Cummings.

​Dominic Grieve, one of the 21 rebel Tory MPs who defied the Prime Minister, told the BBC the Prime Minister’s position was now in question in light of his unlawful advice to The Queen.

Mr Johnson has even been accused of lying to the Queen about the reasons for the suspension of Parliament, something he has strenuously denied.

The Supreme Court issued rulings on two legal challenges – one by Gina Miller’s team and one by the government, appealing against the ruling of the Court of Sessions in Edinburgh, which ruled last week Mr Johnson had acted “unlawfully”.

On Tuesday, 17 September, Lord Pannick QC argued the prime minister had suspended Parliament to avoid MPs “frustrating or damaging” his plans to push through a no-deal Brexit.

But the Advocate General for Scotland, Lord Keen QC, leading the government’s legal team, said the prime minister was “entitled” to suspend Parliament and the judiciary should not overrule the executive.

Mr Johnson announced in August he planned to prorogue Parliament for five weeks between early September and 14 October, in order to pave the way for a Queen’s Speech to outline the government’s legislative plans.

Lord Pannick argued the suspension was simply to “silence” opponents of his Brexit strategy.

On Wednesday, 18 September, government lawyer Sir James Eadie QC addressed the question of “justiciability” and said Gina Miller and SNP MP Joanna Cherry, who brought the case in Scotland, could not point to a single law he had broken in suspending Parliament.

Sir James said Parliament had passed legislation governing some aspects of prorogation but none involving the circumstances in which Mr Johnson passed the order.

This article was posted: Tuesday, September 24, 2019 at 5:24 am

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