World News

United Kingdom court rules Johnson's suspension of Parliament unlawful

United Kingdom court rules Johnson's suspension of Parliament unlawful

Scotland's appeal court on Wednesday declared British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's decision to suspend parliament "unlawful", in a case brought by lawmakers and set to be appealed by the government.

Nonetheless the ruling will be seen as a setback for Mr. Johnson who has been battling Parliament over his plan to pull Britain out of the European Union on October 31, with or without a withdrawal agreement.

It's a historic constitutional precedent and we await to see the immediate effect.

While the full judgement will be handed down later in the week, the judges had stark words for the British government in a summary of their findings.

He prorogued Parliament on Tuesday arguing that it was a routine suspension to allow the political parties to hold their annual conferences and to reset the government's domestic agenda.

But the Court of Session judges said they were unanimous in their belief that Mr Johnson was motivated by the "improper goal of stymieing Parliament", and that he had therefore effectively misled the Queen in advising her to suspend Parliament.

The decision overturned a previous ruling, which said Johnson did not break the law with the prorogation.

Any early general election has been a key point of Boris Johnson's Brexit agenda over the last few weeks.

Simon Pia, a former Scottish Labour Party press adviser, told Al Jazeera this was "a crushing blow for the [British] government".

Trump repeals Obama-era waterway protections
Trump repeals Obama-era waterway protections

Prime Minister Boris Johnson poses for the photographers.

Cherry said she wasn't surprised by the unanimous decision, noting that during last week's hearings, she detected "a whiff of bad faith on behalf of Boris Johnson and the British government".

The court ruling came after more than 70 opposition lawmakers challenged the government's decision to shut down Parliament until Oct 14 - just over two weeks before Britain is due to leave the EU.

In an excoriating judgment, the Scottish judges ruled the principal reason for parliament's suspension was to stymie lawmakers and allow Johnson to pursue a no-deal Brexit policy.

Before parliament was suspended, lawmakers forced through legislation which forces the prime minister to seek a three-month delay to Brexit on October 19 if no divorce agreement has been agreed to prevent a no-deal Brexit.

Scottish pro-Brexit campaigner Tom Walker told Al Jazeera the Scottish court's ruling was "a unsafe venture of the judiciary into politics".

"The other two judges supported this". The court might say that Parliament was never prorogued at all in the eyes of the law and so is actually still sitting after all.

Judge James Drummond Young had determined that "the only inference that could be drawn was that the United Kingdom government and the Prime Minister wished to restrict Parliament", it added.

Meanwhile, Justice Secretary Robert Buckland, commenting after reports that a Downing Street source had suggested the Scottish judges were "politically biased", said: "Our judges are renowned around the world for their excellence and impartiality and I have total confidence in their independence in every case".

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