On Prorogation

Published: 24 September 2019

Dan Wincott of Cardiff University responds to the ruling of the Supreme Court.

Extraordinary. The UK Supreme Court has come to a unanimous decision. A clear, simple series of decisions on justiciability (whether there was a legal question on which the Court could decide), the unlawfulness of the advice given to the  Queen and also of the prorogation Order-in-Council and that the Westminster Parliament has not been prorogued. It has done so with the largest possible number of Justices sitting.  Critically, all legislation passing through Westminster falls when that Parliament is prorogued.  The fact that we now know Westminster was never prorogued means all that legislation - much of it needed for Brexit - active and can still be passed into law. It is worth noting that Lady Hale emphasised the scope and consequences of the prorogation and thus did not need to delve into its exercise or the motives behind it.  For example, the Court did not have to take a position on whether or not the Prime Minister had ‘lied to the Queen’.  To make sense of the full significance of this remarkable judgement we will need to read it the full when it is published.

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