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25 September 2019

Supreme Court returns power to parliament in prorogation case

On Tuesday 24 September, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that Boris Johnson’s suspension of parliament was unlawful.

Many lawyers consider that this ruling is of lasting constitutional significance because it reinforces the power of parliament in the face of an often powerful governing executive.

Unlike many other democratic countries, Britain has an unwritten constitution and power has for centuries been carefully balanced between three institutions that are parliament, the executive (or government) and the courts. However, the Supreme Court has been forced to intervene to reassert the traditional balance of power within the UK.

Noting that the English High Court last week ruled that there were insuperable difficulties in the courts reviewing this area, David Mundy, partner in our public law team, found the Supreme Court’s decision ‘challenging and potentially troublesome’:

‘Yet the Supreme Court is saying there is no problem at all with the question of justiciability. I am very surprised by the decision’.

The full article is available to subscribers of the Financial Times, here.

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