Scottish court rules that Boris Johnson's decision to suspend Parliament is lawful

Scotland's Judge Raymond Doherty said the question was not a matter for the courts and was a political issue which should be judged by Parliament and the electorate.
Scotland's Judge Raymond Doherty said the question was not a matter for the courts and was a political issue which should be judged by Parliament and the electorate.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

LONDON (REUTERS) - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's decision to suspend Parliament later this month until mid-October is lawful, a Scottish court ruled on Wednesday (Sept 4).

More than 75 lawmakers had legally challenged Johnson's right to suspend, or prorogue Parliament, arguing it was illegal and unconstitutional because he was seeking to do so in order to force through a no-deal Brexit on Oct 31 by limiting the opportunity for opponents to object.

Judge Raymond Doherty said the question was not a matter for the courts and was a political issue which should be judged by Parliament and the electorate.

"In my view, the advice given in relation to the prorogation decision is a matter involving high policy and political judgement," Doherty told Scotland's Court of Session.

"This is political territory and decision-making which cannot be measured against legal standards and only by political judgements."

Joanna Cherry, a Scottish National Party lawmaker who led the challenge, said they would seek to appeal against the decision.

Johnson announced on Aug 28 that he would suspend Parliament from mid-September to mid-October, shortly before Britain is due to exit the European Union on Oct 31, to allow the government to announce a new legislative programme.

 

The Scottish court was told on Tuesday that a memo passed to Johnson two weeks beforehand indicated he was looking to suspend Parliament while his aides were publicly denying there were any such plans.