Boris Johnson’s suspension of parliament ruled unlawful by Scottish appeals court

Cheryl Sanders
September 12, 2019

But a panel of three Court of Session judges in Edinburgh said "the only inference that could be drawn was that the United Kingdom government and the prime minister wished to restrict Parliament".

The document's release was the day's second setback for Johnson and followed the surprise judgment by Scotland's highest civil court, which found that the government's action suspending lawmakers was illegal "because it had the objective of stymieing Parliament".

If Boris Johnson is found to have deceived the Queen he should quit, a former Tory MP has said.

Johnson says he wants to strike a new deal with the bloc after the agreement made by his predecessor Theresa May was rejected three times by Britain's Parliament. Parliament typically shuts down for a couple of weeks during the fall conference season but this prorogation was one of the longest in history.

"The Supreme Court will now rule on the matter on Tuesday and the government will abide by that decision", said a government spokesperson.

"This is a valid ruling today by the court", Paul Sweeney, one of the politicians who had put their name to the legal challenge, told Al Jazeera.


The group of parliamentarians who petitioned the Court of Session said their understanding is Parliament can now reassemble if it so wishes, with SNP MP Joanna Cherry among those calling for it to be recalled.

Members of parliament passed legislation last week seeking to force Johnson to ask European Union leaders for an extension if no agreement is reached in hopes of averting what they see as disastrous effects of a so-called no-deal Brexit.

In answer, he said: "I must respectfully disagree with you in your characterization of this government".

On Friday, London's High Court rejected a similar challenge by campaigners and that case is due to be heard on September 17 at the Supreme Court, the highest judicial body in the United Kingdom.

After the decision was announced, Cherry called for Parliament to be recalled, saying, "Now, for every moment Parliament remains prorogued, the British government are breaking the law".

Lord Doherty said Mr Johnson had not broken the law by proroguing Parliament, and that it was for MPs and the electorate to judge the prime minister's actions rather than the courts. "Proroguing Parliament is the legal and necessary way of delivering this", said the spokesperson.


She added: "The prime minister's behaviour has been outrageous and reckless, and has shown a complete disregard for constitutional rules and norms".

Their case got a boost late Wednesday as the government gave in to a demand from lawmakers and published a document showing that a hard exit could lead to logjams for freight, shortages of some foods and medicines, major travel disruptions and possible rioting.

"Indeed in my view, it would then be the moment for Mr Johnson to resign - and very swiftly".

"I think it's disappointing that the courts are trying to interfere in the way the country is run", he said.

It noted that another challenge to the suspension, brought by transparency campaigner Gina Miller, was rejected at the High Court in London last week.


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