The Supreme Court on 24th September 2019 inflicted a major defeat Boris Johnson who had decided to suspend the Parliament face the failure of discussions on Brexit.
The British Supreme Court unanimously ruled Tuesday 24th September 2019 the suspension of Parliament decided by Boris Johnson and estimated that he had to sit again “as soon as possible”, a spectacular decision and a major defeat for the Prime Minister.
Immediately Labor Party leader Jeremy Corbyn called on Boris Johnson to resign.
The eleven judges unanimously decided that Boris Johnson’s opinion asking Queen Elizabeth II to suspend Parliament for five weeks until October 14, two weeks before Brexit, was “illegal, null and void”. “.
“The parliament has not been suspended,” said Supreme Court President Lady Hale, saying that he must sit again “as soon as possible.”
Speaker John Bercow said that he should “meet without delay” and that he would consult the leaders of the various political parties “urgently”.
The judges followed the arguments of the head of government’s opponents, who accused him of suspending the Parliament to muzzle the opposition and take the UK out of the EU on 31 October, even without a divorce agreement.
“Members of Parliament need to be brave and demand accountability from this unscrupulous government,” said Gina Miller, an anti-Brexit activist behind one of the Supreme Court’s appeals.
Boris Johnson has repeatedly said that Parliament’s suspension was justified in order to prepare and present its national political priorities after taking office at the end of July.
It is not unusual for a leader in the United Kingdom to adjourn the parliamentary session for this purpose. In addition, Parliament does not traditionally sit for a few weeks in September, at the time of the annual party congresses.
But this suspension, especially because of its length, had sparked a wave of indignation in the country, triggering demonstrations and a judicial offensive.
The Supreme Court had been seised after two different decisions: one, by the London High Court, considered that it did not have to decide on a political decision, the other, made by Scottish justice, deemed the decision of the Prime Minister “illegal”.
Boris Jonhson had not ruled out, if he was defeated, to suspend Parliament again, thus ensuring the legality of his step.
In any case, the fact that the Court considered that the debate was not only in the political sphere could create an important precedent, but experts also say.
It was not only a matter of whether the suspension was “illegal”, but also of “whether the British Supreme Court becomes an arbiter, a sort of constitutional court in a country without a written constitution,” explained Tony Travers, a political expert. at the London School of Economics (LSE), before reading the judgment.
“It would be a big step. It will be the biggest constitutional case, certainly of the decade, and possibly the century, “predicted Robert Hazell of University College London.
In debates in the Supreme Court, Gina Miller’s lawyer, David Pannick, argued that the length of the suspension showed that the Prime Minister’s goal was to “silence Parliament”.
But for the government, it was not up to the courts to decide on the prorogation of Parliament because the decision of the Prime Minister was “fundamentally political in nature”.
Boris Johnson learned of the court decision Tuesday in New York where he is currently attending the UN General Assembly.
It is a devastating blow for him, while the parliamentarians had urgently adopted, before the suspension on 9 September, a law obliging him to request a three-month postponement of Brexit in case of absence of an agreement with Brussels. A scenario that Boris Johnson categorically excludes.
Does the leader plan to resign if the Supreme Court finds him wrong? “I’m waiting to see what the judges decide (…) because as I said before, I think the reasons (…) for wanting a speech from the Queen (presenting the political program of the government: Ed) were very good, “he told the British media on the plane bringing him to New York.