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United Kingdom: The Suspension of the Parliament Unlawful

United Kingdom: The Suspension of the Parliament Unlawful

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September 24,2019 (CABNC) The Prime minister, Boris Johnson’s decision to advise the Queen to suspend Parliament was unlawful, the Supreme Court has ruled in a landmark judgement. The court said it was wrong to stop Member of Parliament 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”.

Government sources said it was “currently processing the verdict”. The government had argued that the purpose of carrying out the prorogation ahead of a Queen’s Speech so the new government could outline new policies. But oppositions said the prime minister was trying to stop MPs from scrutinising the Brexit plans.

Delivering its conclusions, the Supreme Court’s president, Lady Hale, said: “The effect on the fundamentals of our democracy was extreme. 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 was that Parliament had not been prorogued – the decision was null and of no effect – and it was for the Speakers of the Commons and Lords to decide what to do next. Commons Speaker John Bercow welcomed the ruling and said Parliament “must convene without delay”, adding that he would now consult party leaders “as a matter of urgency”.

Read the judgement here.

The ruling was made after a three-day hearing at the Supreme Court last week which dealt with two appeals – one from campaigner and businesswoman Gina Miller, the second from the government. Mrs Miller was appealing against the English High Court’s decision that the prorogation was “purely political” and not a matter for the courts. The government was appealing against the ruling by Scotland’s Court of Session that the prorogation was “unlawful” and had been used to “stymie” Parliament.

The court ruled in favour of Mrs Miller’s appeal and against the government’s.

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