The UK Supreme Court has ruled that British Prime Minister Boris Johnson acted unlawfully when he decided to prorogue (suspend) parliament for five weeks, plunging Britain into a constitutional crisis.
President of the UK Supreme Court, Lady Hale, delivering the judgment on Tuesday said that Johnson’s advice to Her Majesty [the Queen] was “unlawful, void and of no effect”.
All 11 Judges were unanimous in ruling that the UK parliament ostensibly has “not been prorogued” and that the prime minister prevented lawmakers from carrying out their duties.
In what was essentially a damning indictment of Johnson’s judgement as British PM, Lady Hale explained that the “effects on the fundamentals of democracy was extreme” with this unlawful act.
The court in London was told that the government has not been able to justify the length of prorogation.
The Scottish National Party’s Joanna Cherry, who had her case against the suspension of parliament heard by the court, insisted Johnson should now “do the decent thing and resign.”
The UK government had argued that prorogation was not an issue for the courts, but critics claimed Johnson was trying to limit the amount of time lawmakers could have to scrutinize the PM’s Brexit policy.
Parliament was suspended on September 9 and MPs were not due to reconvene until October 14 – with Brexit deadline day fast approaching.