UK Supreme Court Rules Boris Johnson's Suspension of Parliament Was Unlawful

Posted: Sep 24, 2019 7:30 AM
UK Supreme Court Rules Boris Johnson's Suspension of Parliament Was Unlawful

Source: AP Photo/Frank Augstein

The United Kingdom’s Supreme Court ruled British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s suspension of Parliament for five weeks ahead of the Oct. 31 Brexit deadline was not legal.

The unanimous decision by the panel of 11 judges said the order to suspend Parliament was “void and of no effect.”

Supreme Court President Brenda Hale said the suspension “was unlawful because it had the effect of frustrating or preventing the ability of Parliament to carry out its constitutional functions without reasonable justification.”

She said the court’s decision means Parliament was never legally suspended and is technically still sitting.

House of Commons Speaker John Bercow said in a written statement that the ruling “vindicated the right and duty of Parliament to meet at this crucial time to scrutinise the executive and hold Ministers to account.”

He said lawmakers “must convene without delay. To this end, I will now consult the party leaders as a matter of urgency.” (AP)

Critics pounced on the ruling to call for Johnson to step down. 

Opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn told the party conference that the decision shows Johnson’s “contempt” for democracy and rule of law.

He said Johnson should resign “and become the shortest serving prime minister there’s ever been.”

“I invite Boris Johnson, in the historic words, to consider his position,” Corbyn told the party faithful.

The harsh tone of the court’s decision, and the unanimous vote of 11 Supreme Court judges, led many to say Johnson can’t carry on.

“His position is untenable and he should have the guts for once to do the decent thing and resign,” Scottish National Party legislator Joanna Cherry said outside the court. (AP)

The British leader is currently in New York for the United Nations General Assembly and has not yet commented about the ruling.