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24th September 2019

Supreme Court Judgement

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Contrary to expectation in legal circles, the English courts have ruled against the Government after a three day hearing, saying that the suspension of Parliament by Prime Minister Boris Johnson for a five week period was unlawful. Eleven judges (the largest number that can all sit to hear one case) of the Supreme Court, the highest court in the UK, decided that (a) the courts did have the power to scrutinise this decision of the Prime Minister (b) that prorogation of Parliament was unconstitutional because it was ‘without reasonable justification’ and finally (c) that the speakers in both houses of Parliament may reconvene the House of Commons and the House of Lords immediately. The effect of this unanimous decision of the judges, which was handed down on 24 September, is that the suspension is null and void and the speaker of the House of Commons has already said that he intends to resume sitting on 25 September. Not surprisingly, reactions have varied from jubilation to shocked disbelief but there is no doubt that the courts have flexed their muscles and shown that no-one is above the law.

Although hailed as a momentous decision, it throws no light on the murky subject of the UK’s exit from the EU which is due to take place on 31 October. Boris Johnson insists that Brexit will take place at the end of October but time is running out to find a deal that is acceptable to all parties.