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UK court rules Johnson's suspension of Parliament unlawful

The court in Edinburgh, however, did not overturn the suspension, saying Britain's Supreme Court must take the final decision

By AP in London
  • Published 11.09.19, 3:28 PM
  • Updated 11.09.19, 3:28 PM
  • a min read
  •  
In this image taken from a video, British lawmakers stage a protest in the House of Commons before prorogation of Parliament, in London, on Tuesday September 10, 2019 AP

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson's decision to suspend Parliament less than two months before Britain is due to leave the European Union was unlawful, a Scottish court ruled Wednesday, although it didn't order the suspension to be overturned.

Judges at Scotland's highest court in Edinburgh said Britain's Supreme Court must make the final decision. A hearing there is due to begin on Tuesday.

A group of about 70 lawmakers is challenging the government's decision to prorogue, or formally shut down, Parliament for five weeks until October 14 — just over two weeks before Britain is due to leave the EU.

Johnson claims he took the action so that he can start afresh on his domestic agenda at a new session of Parliament next month. However, the suspension also gives him a respite from rebellious lawmakers as he plots his next move to break the political deadlock and lead Britain out of the EU by October 31.

Opponents argue that Johnson is trying to evade democratic scrutiny.

Last week, a court in Edinburgh rejected the lawmakers' challenge, saying it was a matter for politicians, not the courts, to decide. But that was overturned Wednesday on appeal.

Jolyon Maugham, a lawyer who is part of the claim, said, "We believe that the effect of the decision is that Parliament is no longer prorogued."

"I have never been able to contemplate the possibility that the law could be that our sovereign Parliament might be treated as an inconvenience by the prime minister," he said.