News | Published September 24 2019

Supreme Court announces prorogation is unlawful

Following a three-day hearing, the Supreme Court has announced that Boris Johnson’s prorogation of parliament was unlawful.

Announcing the unanimous decision, Lady Hale labelled the prorogation void and said it is up to parliament as to what happens next. As the prorogation is void, the Speakers of the Lords and the Commons could choose to reconvene as soon as they wish. 

The hearing considered two main appeals: one from Gina Miller, a campaigner who also launched a court case against the government over Brexit in 2016, and one from the government itself.

The case dealt primarily with whether prorogation was purely a political matter, and thus not under the remit of the judiciary, or whether prorogation was only used to “stymie” parliament and was thus unlawful.

The court also had to deal with two contradictory judgements from the courts. 

Gina Miller was appealing against the English High Court’s decision, which stated that prorogation was not a matter for the judiciary, while the government was appealing against the ruling of Scotland’s Court of Session, which came to the opposite conclusion.

While the government has said that it will “abide by the ruling” of the Supreme Court, Boris Johnson, speaking in New York, refused to rule out proroguing parliament for a second time.

Parliament is currently scheduled to return on 14 October, with the current Brexit deadline scheduled for 31 October. 

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Authored by

George Salmon
Political Editor
September 24 2019

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