Saturday 21 September 2019

Boris Johnson's decision to suspend UK parliament in run-up to Brexit 'unlawful', Scottish court rules

  • Suspension of parliament is 'unlawful' - says Scottish court
  • Group of around 70 parliamentarians had appealed against initial ruling by judge saying prorogation is 'lawful'
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Picture: Reuters
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Picture: Reuters
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

A legal bid to challenge the suspension of parliament has succeeded at the appeal court in Edinburgh, with judges ruling Boris Johnson's prorogation of parliament was "unlawful".

A group of around 70 parliamentarians had appealed against a ruling by a judge at the court that Boris Johnson's prorogation of Parliament is lawful.

Judge Lord Doherty originally dismissed a challenge against the suspension - which went ahead in the early hours of Tuesday - at the Court of Session last Wednesday, saying it is for politicians and not the courts to decide.

But three judges of the Inner House, the supreme civil court in Scotland, disagreed with Lord Doherty's ruling.

The UK Government plans to appeal against the latest ruling to the Supreme Court. It said it is “disappointed” by the decision of the senior Scottish judges, adding proroguing Parliament was ” legal and necessary”

SNP MP Joanna Cherry QC, who was among the cross-party group of politicians that brought the action, tweeted: "All 3 judges in Scotland's Highest court of appeal rule #Prorogation #unlawful! #Cherrycase succeeds.

"Huge thanks to all our supporters & our fantastic legal team who have achieved the historic ruling that #prorogation is #unlawful #Cherrycase #Brexit."

Liberal Democrats MP Luciana Berger tweeted: "As one of the Petitioners to this case, this is such an important ruling - although how awful that it's had to come to this. "

While, SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford tweeted: "This is great news, congratulations to you and all involved. This battle has further to run but my message to @BorisJohnson is you are playing fast and loose with the law. You have acted in an anti democratic manner and need to respond by recalling Parliament."

Jolyon Maugham QC, the anti-Brexit barrister who was second petitioner in the case, said the Supreme Court would hear the case next week.

He tweeted: "We have won. Appeal begins in the Supreme Court on Tuesday.

"We believe that the effect of the decision is that Parliament is no longer prorogued.

"I have never been able to contemplate the possibility that the law could be that our sovereign Parliament might be treated as an inconvenience by the Prime Minister.

"I am pleased that Scotland's highest court agrees. But ultimately, as has always been the case, it's the final arbiter's decision that matters.

"We will convene again in the Supreme Court next week."

Labour MP Ian Murray tweeted: "Great result from the Court of Session. The contempt that the PM has shown to Parliament and the public is unprecedented. The advice given to the Queen was not the reason wanted for a 5 week prorogation."

More to follow...

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