Boris Johnson’s suspension of Parliament “unlawful”, rules UK Supreme Court

The UK Supreme Court had ruled Boris Johnson's suspension of Parliament unlawful. Photo courtesy: UK government
The UK Supreme Court had ruled Boris Johnson's suspension of Parliament unlawful. Photo courtesy: UK government

In a massive blow to United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Britain's Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled his decision to suspend Parliament as "unlawful". The court said that the suspension was "void and of no effect".

Johnson had suspended or prorogued the UK Parliament till October 14 in the run-up to Britain’s exit from the European Union. 

UK Supreme Court head Brenda Hale reading out the verdict. Photo courtesy: Twitter
UK Supreme Court head Brenda Hale reading out the verdict. Photo courtesy: Twitter

"The court is bound to conclude... that the decision to advise Her Majesty to prorogue parliament was unlawful," Supreme Court head Brenda Hale said in the ruling that came after an unprecedented Supreme Court sitting of 11 judges last week. 

The ruling says that Johnson's suspension of Parliament "had the effect of frustrating or preventing Parliament from carrying out its constitutional functions.”

"It is impossible for us to conclude, on the evidence which has been put before us, that there was any reason - let alone a good reason - to advise Her Majesty to prorogue Parliament for five weeks," Hale added. "Parliament has not been prorogued. This is the unanimous judgment of all 11 justices." 

The court also said that now "it is for Parliament... to decide what to do next". 

Johnson’s suspension of Parliament was heavily criticised by opposition lawmakers who saw it as an attempt to thwart their plans to scrutinise the PM’s Brexit plans and to allow him to push through the exit from the European Union with or without a deal on October 31.

Johnson on his part denied lying to the Queen about his reasons for suspending Parliament, maintaining it was his right to terminate the last session, ostensibly to prepare for the Queen's Speech on October 14 in which his new government will outline its legislative plans for the year ahead.

Boris Johnson during a heated debate before Parliament was prorogued. Screengrab courtesy: YouTube/House of Commons
Boris Johnson during a heated debate before Parliament was prorogued. Screengrab courtesy: YouTube/House of Commons

His decision to prorogue was ruled “unlawful” by a Scottish High Court earlier this month which had asked ministers to return to work, following which the government had appealed to the UK High Court. 

Johnson is currently in New York attending the United Nations General Assembly. 

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CtoI News Desk
CtoI News Desk – CtoI

Singapore-headquartered online media company targeting Indian Diaspora across Singapore, US, UK and Dubai. Connected to India covers developments around Indians abroad, informing, engaging and entertaining its audiences.

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