Join Us Now!
Quote:Para. 44: "It must therefore follow, as a concomitant of Parliamentary sovereignty, that the power to prorogue cannot be unlimited."
Para. 48: "... the longer that Parliament stands prorogued, the greater the risk that responsible government may be replaced by unaccountable government"
Para. 50: "the relevant limit upon the power to prorogue can be expressed in this way: that a decision to prorogue Parliament (or to advise the monarch to prorogue Parliament) will be unlawful if the prorogation has the effect of frustrating or preventing, without reasonable justification, the ability of Parliament to carry out its constitutional functions as a legislature and as the body responsible for the supervision of the executive. In such a situation, the court will intervene if the effect is sufficiently serious to justify such an exceptional course."
Para. 52: "Returning, then, to the justiciability of the question of whether the Prime Minister’s advice to the Queen was lawful, we are firmly of the opinion that it is justiciable. As we have explained, it is well established, and is accepted by counsel for the Prime Minister, that the courts can rule on the extent of prerogative powers."
Para. 55: "The first question, therefore, is whether the Prime Minister’s action had the effect of frustrating or preventing the constitutional role of Parliament in holding the Government to account."
Para. 55: "The answer is that of course it did. This was not a normal prorogation in the run-up to a Queen’s Speech. It prevented Parliament from carrying out its constitutional role for five out of a possible eight weeks between the end of the summer recess and exit day on the 31st October."
Para. 57: "Such an interruption in the process of responsible government might not matter in some circumstances. But the circumstances here were... quite exceptional. A fundamental change was due to take place in the Constitution of the United Kingdom on 31st October 2019. Whether or not this is a good thing is not for this or any other court to judge. The people have decided that. But that Parliament, and in particular the House of Commons as the democratically elected representatives of the people, has a right to have a voice in how that change comes about is indisputable."
Para. 51: "It is impossible for us to conclude, on the evidence which has been put before us, that there was any reason - let alone a good reason - to advise Her Majesty to prorogue Parliament for five weeks, from 9th or 12th September until 14th October. We cannot speculate, in the absence of further evidence, upon what such reasons might have been. It follows that the decision was unlawful."
Para. 70: "It follows that Parliament has not been prorogued and that this court should make declarations to that effect. We have been told by counsel for the Prime Minister that he will “take all necessary steps to comply with the terms of any declaration made by the court” and we expect him to do so. However, it appears to us that, as Parliament is not prorogued, it is for Parliament to decide what to do next."