UK Parliament Suspension Ruled Unlawful

September 24, 2019

The supreme court in the United Kingdom has ruled that Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s suspension of Parliament earlier this month was unlawful.

A BBC story said, “Mr Johnson suspended – or prorogued – Parliament for five weeks earlier this month, but judges said it was wrong to stop MPs carrying out duties in the run-up to Brexit on 31 October.

“Supreme Court president Lady Hale said “the effect on the fundamentals of democracy was extreme.”

“The PM says he “strongly disagrees” with the ruling but will “respect” it.

“A raft of MPs have now called for the prime minister to resign and some have said they would attempt to force him out if he did not go of his accord.

“Delivering its conclusions, the Supreme Court’s president, Lady Hale, said: “The decision to advise Her Majesty to prorogue Parliament was unlawful because it had the effect of frustrating or preventing the ability of Parliament to carry out its constitutional functions without reasonable justification.”

“Lady Hale said the unanimous decision of the 11 justices meant Parliament had effectively not been prorogued – the decision was null and of no effect.

“She added that it was important to emphasise the case was “not about when and on what terms” the UK left the EU, but about the decision to suspend Parliament.”

A Guardian story said, “The supreme court has ruled that Boris Johnson’s advice to the Queen that parliament should be prorogued for five weeks at the height of the Brexit crisis was unlawful.

“The unanimous judgment from 11 justices on the UK’s highest court followed an emergency three-day hearing last week that exposed fundamental legal differences over interpreting the country’s unwritten constitution.

“The momentous decision was read out by Lady Hale, president of the supreme court. Unusually, none of the parties were provided with advance copies of the judgment due to its sensitivity. Only seven of the 11 justices who heard the case were present in court.

“The first legal question the judges had to resolve was whether the prime minister’s decision – exploiting residual, royal prerogative powers – was “justiciable” and could consequently be subjected to scrutiny by the courts.

“The English high court declined to intervene; the Scottish appeal court concluded that judges did have legal authority to act. The supreme court supported the Scottish interpretation.”

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