Why the 11 judge bench of Supreme Court struck the recommendation to suspend the UK parliament for 5 weeks?

Published: September 25, 2019

The Eleven judge bench of the UK Supreme Court, the largest permissible Bench of the 12-judge Supreme Court has struck down a recommendation by Prime Minister Boris Johnson to suspend Parliament for five weeks ahead of Britain’s scheduled October 31 exit from the European Union as unlawful.

Judgment by the UK Supreme Court

  • The PM’s action was unlawful and the prorogation of Parliament was void and of no effect.
  • On the question of whether Britain’s courts had the power to stop the PM. The Supreme Court held that the question was justiciable. This observation clarified an important aspect of the rules of engagement among the Legislature, Executive, and Judiciary in Britain’s unwritten Constitution.
  • The Supreme Court held that the Courts have exercised a supervisory jurisdiction over the lawfulness of acts of the Government for centuries and it was firmly of the opinion that the question of the lawfulness of the Prime Minister’s advice to Her Majesty is justiciable.
  • The Supreme Court rules that it was not a normal prorogation. The Supreme Court held that the prolonged suspension of parliamentary democracy took place in quite exceptional circumstances like BREXIT. Parliament has a right to a voice in how that change comes about. The effect upon the fundamentals of our democracy was extreme.
  • The Supreme Court held that there was no reason, let alone a good reason to advise Her Majesty to prorogue Parliament.
  • Since the Supreme Court had held that Parliament is not prorogued, it is for Parliament to decide what to do next.

This decision of the Supreme Court will further complicate the ongoing tussle over the BREXIT.

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