“It Had The Purpose Of Stymying Parliament”



Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon

Summary of judgment made in Scotland’s highest civil court this morning in respect of Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament

This morning.

Three judges of the Inner House at the Court of Session in Edinburgh have said UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful.

Their decision overturns a previous rejection of an attempt to have the suspension declared unlawful.

Severin Carrell, in The Guardian, reports:

The British government will appeal against the Scottish appeal court’s decision, which also contradicts a decision in Johnson’s favour by senior English judges last week, at the supreme court.

The supreme court has already scheduled an emergency hearing on both the Scottish and English cases for 17 September, alongside a third challenge brought in the courts in Belfast.

Scottish judges rule Boris Johnson’s prorogation unlawful (The Guardian)

Pic: Lorna Gordon (BBC)

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13 thoughts on ““It Had The Purpose Of Stymying Parliament”

  1. eoin

    So Queen Elizabeth broke the law by signing the prorogation order. What do you call someone who breaks the law again?

    1. theo kretschmar schuldorff

      Where monarchs are trespassed against, here to fore you might have called such a person a head on a spike at London Bridge

    2. GiggidyGoo

      Looks she was lied to by BJ. If that is proven, then the least he will have to do is resign. He might even end up in the Tower of London :-)

      If he lies to his own Monarch, then he has no grounds to be trusted by other countries.

    1. Cian

      I’d guess that the queen acts on good faith.

      The Irish equivalent is where the president signs into law an Act that is subsequently challenged as unconstitutional. If that succeeds then the original law is unlawful. But I don’t think the president “broke the law”.

      1. The Old Boy

        Of course the Queen didn’t break the law or act improperly. She is obliged by convention to act on the advice of her ministers and Privy Council. Any suggestion to the contrary is at best ill-informed and at worst deliberately misleading.

        For what it’s worth, I predict that the Supreme Court will not uphold today’s ruling.

        1. some old queen

          And do they sit in the mean time? Unless the supreme court rules against it- surely Bercow is obliged to order them back in?

          1. The Old Boy

            I’m still waiting for someone to send me a copy of the full judgment and ancillary orders. The Court of Session website has crashed, unsurprisingly. I suspect any order will be stayed pending appeal so nothing will happen in the meantime.

          2. some old queen

            Ok thanks- correct me if wrong but the English court said it did not have the power to adjudicate- is there any difference between its powers and the supreme UK court?

          3. The Old Boy

            The Supreme Court is the court of final appeal from the three parallel court systems of England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. It will combine the English and Scottish cases and effectively make a final and binding decision over both.

            Raymond McCord is bringing a similar case in Northern Ireland but it seems to be languishing in adjournment for the moment, so I am unsure whether it will be joined in the Supreme Court hearing. I don’t think it matters very much; McCord’s arguments are similar to those made in London and Edinburgh but do emphasise the UK’s obligations under the Belfast Agreement.

          1. The Old Boy

            Scotland is a bit of an unknown quantity for me in terms of Judicial thinking but would be reasonably well known for occasionally producing a radical judgment such as this. By coincidence, the full decision of the English High Court last week was published this morning. England’s three most senior judges (the President of the Queen’s Bench, Master of the Rolls, and the Lord Chief Justice) made detailed arguments concerning the non-justiciability of the issue and the fact that the Court has no possible yardstick by which it could measure how long is too long to prorogue.

            From experience, these are the sorts of straight-forward, legalistic arguments that I think are more likely to be attractive to the English-dominated Supreme Court than the more radical Scottish rationale. The leading English case in the field was decided in 2005 by Lord Bingham, very much “the judge’s judge”, who was quoted extensively in the English judgment. I also think that the Supreme Court will balk at the order made in Scotland, ie that the advice given to the Queen was null and invalid, which in my view doesn’t actually nullify the prorogation itself, or at least leaves it in a leave it in a state of some legal uncertainty.

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