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Scottish judges rule that Parliament suspension is 'unlawful'

SCOTLAND’s highest court of appeal yesterday ruled that PM Boris Johnson’s suspension of Parliament is unlawful — but stopped short of ordering that it be recalled.

A group of 75 parliamentarians successfully appealed against Judge Lord Doherty’s decision last week that the suspension of Parliament would be lawful.

He had said, in Edinburgh’s Court of Session, that it was for politicians and not the courts to decide on political matters.

But three judges of that court’s Inner House, the supreme civil court in Scotland, disagreed yesterday with Lord Doherty’s ruling.

They said that Mr Johnson’s action was unlawful because “it had the purpose of stymying Parliament” but they chose not to issue an interdict ordering its reconvening.

The British government will appeal against the latest ruling at the Supreme Court next Tuesday. No 10 confirmed that Parliament would remain prorogued pending that decision.

It comes after judges at London’s High Court ruled last week, in a separate case led by City wealth manager and pro-EU campaigner Gina Miller, that Mr Johnson’s proroguing of Parliament did not break the law. An appeal against the decision is planned by anti-Brexit campaigners.

After the Inner House ruling, activists asserted their view that Parliament can reassemble if it so wishes.

Anti-Brexit barrister Jolyon Maugham QC, who was second petitioner in the case, said: “We have won … We believe that the effect of the decision is that Parliament is no longer prorogued.”

And Labour’s shadow attorney general Shami Chakrabarti said: “This ruling shows that, despite what Boris Johnson has spent his privileged life thinking, he is not above the law.

“Labour will not allow his elitist shutdown of Parliament to enable him to dodge scrutiny and force through a disastrous no-deal Brexit.”


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