Prorogation sought in 'clandestine manner', says Scottish judge

Remigio Civitarese
Settembre 13, 2019

So the ruling in Edinburgh is binding on the UK government - although this is by no means the end of the legal battle since the case will now be appealed to the UK Supreme Court which will make a definitive decision.

Sources in No 10 were reported as having suggested that the MPs and peers who brought the legal challenge "chose the Scottish courts for a reason".

Normally courts do not intervene in the decisions of the government, using the principle of a "margin of appreciation", which gives ministers more leeway under the law than that of ordinary people or organisations.

"It is vital that Parliament is there scrutinising and holding to account this government", she said.

"What I would say is that the more the courts get involved in politics, that is a detriment not only to politics but also to courts", he told the BBC's Andrew Neil Show.

The ruling comes a day after the prorogation took place in the early hours of Tuesday, with parliament now suspended for five weeks.

"I'm relieved that my understanding of the functioning of our democracy - that allows parliament to exercise its vital constitutional role - has been vindicated by Scotland's highest court".

"The implication of what the Scottish court said is that the government didn't give it genuine reasons in court for suspending parliament, it pretended it was just a technical thing whereas its real reason was about its Brexit policy".

Raphael Hogarth, an associate at the Institute for Government, said: "If the Supreme Court rules next week that the prorogation was unlawful, then I'd expect Parliament to be sitting again in very short order. There is one reason why Boris Johnson has prorogued parliament and that is because he wants to force through his no-deal Brexit without having scrutiny, without having to obey the normal rules that a prime minister has to obey by".

It follows last week's disasters in the Commons for Mr Johnson, who lost his debut vote as PM and failed even to persuade MPs to let him dissolve his government and hold a general election.

Chair of the House of Commons Brexit committee and Labour politician Hilary Benn, Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson and Labour's Meg Hillier were among those gathering outside Westminster, saying they will continue to work throughout the suspension, even though they can not hold any debates or speak in the famous chamber of the House of Commons.

"The lower court had said the actions of the executive were "non-justiciable" - meaning they were not to be examined by judges".

Len McClusky, the leader of Unite, one of Britain's biggest trade unions, and one which gives financial support to Labour, has advised the United Kingdom prime minister not to visit Scotland as he may "face a citizen's arrest".

It is also likely to hear arguments arising from decisions in similar cases brought at the High Court in London under English law and the Northern Ireland High Court.

Manuel Cortes, head of the TSSA, called for Johnson to be arrested.

"The legal advice is clear that the prime minister must abide by this".

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