The highest court in the UK will hear two challenges against Boris Johnson’s decision to prorogue parliament for five weeks. One challenge comes from the Scottish courts and another from campaigner Gina Miller. Both argue the prorogation triggered by the prime minister is unlawful and designed to prevent the Commons from examining the UK’s exit from the European Union, which is due to take place on October 31.
Mr Johnson has said the five-week suspension of Parliament is to permit the Government to focus on new legislative agenda, which will be laid out in a Queen’s speech once MPs have returned to session on October 14.
The Prime Minister met with the Queen on August 28 to ask her to prorogue Parliament for five weeks from September 9.
Businesswoman and campaigner Gina Miller’s case against the prorogation was initially dismissed by the High Court in London, as they found the length of the prorogation was “purely political”.
However, on the same day, the Inner House of the Court of Session in Edinburgh ruled against Mr Johnson, deciding his choice to prorogue Parliament was unlawful as “it was motivated by the improper purpose of stymying Parliament”.
From Tuesday, September 17 to Thursday, September 19, the Supreme Court will hear from both Ms Miller’s representation and the Scottish Government on the issue.
On Wednesday, lawyers for Mr Johnson will set out his case that his advice to the Queen to suspend Parliament was not unlawful.
When the ruling will be made by the Supreme Court as to whether Mr Johnson proroguing Parliament was lawful or not, is not known.
The full schedule for the Supreme Court Session is as follows:
10.30am – 1pm: Appellant for Gina Miller – Lord Pannick QC
2pm – 4pm: Appellant for Advocate General for Scotland, Lord Keen QC, on behalf of the appellant (UK Government) in the Cherry case
10.30am – 1pm: Sir James Eadie QC on behalf of the respondent (Prime Minister) in the Miller case
2pm – 4pm: Aidan O’Neill QC on behalf of the respondents in the Cherry case (a cross-party group led by SNP MP Joanna Cherry QC)
10.30am – 11am: Intervention by the Scottish Lord Advocate on behalf of the Scottish Government
11am – 11.40am: Intervention by Northern Ireland claimant Raymond McCord
11.40am – 12.10pm: Intervention by Counsel General for Wales on behalf of the Welsh government
12.10pm – 12.30pm: Intervention by former prime minister John Major
2pm – 2.30pm: Reply from Advocate General for Scotland in Cherry case
2.30pm – 3pm: Reply from Lord Pannick on behalf of Mrs Miller