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Supreme Court clarifies limits on the prerogative power to prorogue Parliament


The Supreme Court has today handed down judgment in the joined appeals of R (Miller) v Prime Minister and Cherry v Advocate General for Scotland following a three day hearing last week before a panel of 11 Justices. The case concerned the legality of the Prime Minister’s advice to Her Majesty to prorogue Parliament from between 9 and 12 September 2019 until 14 October 2019. The appeals followed conflicting judgments in England and Scotland as to the legality of the Prime Minister’s advice: the Divisional Court in London [2019] EWHC 2381 (QB) held the advice was lawful, but the Inner House of the Court of Session in Edinburgh [2019] CSIH 49 reached the contrary conclusion. The Supreme Court unanimously allowed the English appeal and dismissed the Scottish appeal, holding that the Prime Minister’s advice was unlawful and that the prorogation which followed was unlawful, null and of no effect.

The judgment of the Supreme Court is here

Richard Howell appeared for the Prime Minister in the Divisional Court and Supreme Court, instructed by the Government Legal Department.