The UK Supreme Court has ruled that British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend Parliament was unlawful.
Mr Johnson prorogued Parliament for five weeks earlier this month, saying it was to allow a Queen’s Speech to outline his new policies.
However, the Court ruled, it was wrong to stop Parliament carrying out its duties, in the run-up to the Brexit deadline on 31st October.
Delivering its conclusions, the Supreme Court’s President, Lady Hale said:
“The decision to advise Her Majesty to prorogue Parliament was unlawful, because it had the effect of frustrating or preventing the ability of Parliament to carry out its constitutional functions, without reasonable justification.
The effect on the fundamentals of the country’s democracy was extreme.”
Lady Hale said, the unanimous decision of the eleven sitting justices was that Parliament had not been prorogued; therefore, the decision was null and void, and it was for the Speakers of the House of Commons and the House of Lords to decide on the next move.
Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow welcomed the ruling, and said, Parliament “must convene without delay”, adding that he would now consult party leaders “as a matter of urgency”.
It is worthwhile to take a break and consider how a prime minister of the United Kingdom has been found by the highest court in the land, to have acted unlawfully, in shutting down the most sovereign body in the Constitution – ‘The Parliament’, at a time of national crisis.
This is the most dramatic example of the independence of the judiciary; the government was stopped in its tracks, because what it had done, was unlawful.