August 30, 2019
A legal challenge aimed at stopping Boris Johnson’s suspension of parliament has been denied an interim interdict at the Court of Session in Edinburgh.
First Legal Bid To Block Boris Johnsons Parliament Suspension Fails
A cross-party group of MPs and peers filed a petition at Scotland’s highest civil court earlier this summer aiming to stop the Prime Minister being able to prorogue (suspend) parliament.
They called for an interim interdict on Thursday to halt prorogation until a final decision has been made on the case.
On Friday, Judge Lord Doherty dismissed the action ahead of a full hearing originally set for September 6.
Judge Lord Doherty said: “I’m not satisfied that it has been demonstrated that there’s a need for an interim suspension or an interim interdict to be granted at this stage.
“A substantive hearing is set to place for Friday September 6, before the first possible date parliament could be prorogued.”
Aiden O’Neill QC, representing those for the action, argued for the substantive hearing to be moved forward.
He said: “There is an urgency to this – any delay is prejudicial – not just to the prejudice of the petitioners, but to the country as a whole.”
The hearing was then changed from Friday September 6 to Tuesday in the “interest of justice”.
Lord Doherty said: “I’m going to move the substantive hearing forward to Tuesday.
“Weighing consideration in the balance, it’s in the interest of justice that it proceeds sooner rather than later.”
A Government spokeswoman said: “As we have set out, the government needs to bring forward a strong domestic legislative agenda, and MPs are not prevented from scrutinising our withdrawal from the EU.
“We are glad the court found against the interdict – there was no good reason to seek one, given the full hearing is due to take place next week, and the process of bringing the session to an end will not start until the week commencing 9 September.”
Labour MP Ian Murray, who is backing the legal action, said: “This verdict means a full hearing has been fast-tracked to next week, which is now the most important week in modern British history.
“It is disappointing that we have to go to the courts to protect British democracy, but Boris Johnson’s attempt to silence the people’s representatives cannot go unchallenged.
“As well as this legal battle in the Court of Session, the campaign against a no-deal Brexit will also take place in the House of Commons.
“We must work tirelessly, across all parties and none, to fight against the devastation of a no-deal Brexit, fight for our democracy, and fight for the people to have a final say on Brexit.”
The challenge was launched after the Queen approved Johnson’s request for parliament to be suspended for five weeks from September 10.
The PM said on Wednesday that parliament had to be prorogued so he could set out his Government’s new legislative agenda in a Queen’s speech and bring to an end the recording-breaking session which has lasted more than two years.
But MPs and others opposed to Johnson’s Brexit strategy have said he is trying to limit their ability to stop the UK leaving the EU without a deal.
Meanwhile, court in Northern Ireland will also hear from lawyers representing anti-no-deal campaigners challenging the move and attempt to do the same at the High Court in London is also under way.Related... 'Boris Johnson Played A Blinder': The View Of Westminster From Outside The London Bubble Defence Secretary Filmed Suggesting Suspending Parliament Was Fuelled By Brexit One And A Half Million Sign Petition Opposing Boris Johnson's Plan To Prorogue Parliament MPs Plot Weekend Sitting To Counter Suspension Of Parliament
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