Scotland’s highest civil court has ruled that British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend the Parliament is unlawful, BBC reported on Wednesday. A three-judge panel of the Court of Session passed the judgment in favour of a cross-party group of political leaders, who had challenged Johnson’s decision.
The court reversed a judgement, passed last week, which said that the prime minister had not broken any laws. It is, however, not entirely clear how this ruling would impact the current five-week suspension of the Parliament that started on Tuesday.
Lawyers, representing 75 Opposition MPs and peers, contended that Johnson’s decision was illegal and violated the United Kingdom’s Constitution. The move was designed in an attempt to curb parliamentary debate and action on Brexit, the lawyers argued, according to The Guardian.
An official summary of the order, issued by the panel led by Scotland’s senior-most judge Lord Carloway, announced that the prorogation [shutting down Parliament] order was “null and of no effect”. However, Carloway said that the panel deferred a final decision on an interdict to the Supreme Court. The top court is expected to hold a three-day hearing next week.
The government is likely to appeal at the top court against the latest ruling. “We are disappointed by today’s decision and will appeal to the UK supreme court,” a government spokesperson was quoted as saying. “The UK government needs to bring forward a strong domestic legislative agenda. Proroguing parliament is the legal and necessary way of delivering this.”
MPs are supposed to return to the Parliament only on October 14, which will include a Queen’s speech highlighting Johnson’s legislative plans. Last month, the prime minister had refuted allegations that the suspension had anything to do with forcing the no-deal Bresit. He had also said that he did not want to wait till after Brexit to get on with “plans to take this country forward”. The United Kingdom is supposed to leave the European Union on October 31.
Johnson had asked Queen Elizabeth II to suspend the Parliament for a month on August 28. This left a week between the MPs’ return from summer break and the suspension and no time for politicians to block no-deal Brexit from happening. In a no-deal situation, the country would leave the Union immediately with no agreement about the procedure.
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