Scottish Court Says Johnson's Suspension Of U.K. Parliament Is Illegal

Elias Hubbard
September 12, 2019

But the court's ruling is a victory for Joanna Cherry of Edinburgh South West, the member of Parliament who led the case, and almost 80 lawmakers who joined her.

He noted a separate legal challenge to prorogation brought at the High Court in London last week had failed.

"We are hurtling headlong towards a political, economic and constitutional crisis of proportions perhaps never seen before".

"The Lord President, Lord Carloway, decided that although advice to HM the Queen on the exercise of the royal prerogative of prorogating Parliament was not reviewable on the normal grounds of judicial review, it would nevertheless be unlawful if its goal was to stymie parliamentary scrutiny of the executive", the Judiciary of Scotland wrote in its summary of the opinion.

But before a scheduled hearing at the UK Supreme Court on September 17, it remains unclear what the immediate impact of the ruling will be.

The judges will release their full findings on Friday.

Suspending parliament to start a new legislative session is normally a routine event that takes place most years.

"The court will accordingly make an order declaring that the Prime Minister's advice to HM the Queen and the prorogation which followed thereon was unlawful and is thus null and of no effect", the ruling read.

In essence, the court said Johnson intentionally misled the monarch, an official ruling that was the first in British history.

"He is the first United Kingdom prime minister to have been found by a court to have misled the sovereign", legal expert David Allen Green wrote in the Financial Times.

A government spokesman expressed disappointment at the decision.

Johnson has ruled out asking the European Union for an extension.

Mr Bebb told Radio 4's World at One: "If it transpires that by offering what is deemed to be unlawful advice to her Majesty the Queen, it transpires that the prime minister misled the Queen then I think his position is untenable".

But his hardline strategy for Britain to quit the bloc "do or die" on October 31 has hit the buffers.

The judges said the PM was attempting to prevent Parliament holding the government to account ahead of Brexit.

Johnson says he wants to strike a new deal with the bloc after the agreement made by his predecessor Theresa May was rejected three times by Britain's Parliament.

Two other legal challenges remain ongoing.

Last week, between returning from their summer holidays and parliament's suspension, MPs passed a law to force Johnson to delay Brexit if he does not get a new deal by an European Union summit on October 17-18.

Judges at the Court of Session in Edinburgh said the government's action was illegal "because it had the goal of stymieing Parliament".

A lawyer involved in the Scottish case against the government, Jolyon Maugham, tweeted that it would be considered in Britain's Supreme Court starting on Tuesday.

Johnson, one of the leaders of the 2016 "leave" campaign, is trying to deliver Brexit and counter an electoral threat from the newly founded Brexit Party.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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