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Brexit Briefing: Court of Session Ruling

Published: 11 September 2019
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Paul F Scott of Glasgow University reflects on today's Court of Session ruling.

The decision of the Inner House of the Court of Session holding that the Prime Minister's advice to the Queen to prorogue Parliament was unlawful adds a new dimension to the constitutional struggles which have emerged out of Brexit.

A full assessment of the implications of the decision will need to wait for the full judgment to be issued by the Inner House on Friday. From the summary provided, however, it appears that the decision does not rely to any great extent on claims about the distinctiveness of Scots law or the Scottish constitutional order. This reduces the likelihood that when the Supreme Court comes to consider the question of prorogation next week - alongside cases from England and, probably. Northern Ireland - it will decide that the legality of the advice varies depending on the jurisdiction in which it is considered.

In the meantime, pressure to have the prorogation cancelled will grow, and it is alarming - though unsurprising - how quickly UK government sources have taken to casting aspersions on the Scottish judiciary and the Scottish legal system more generally.

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