Scottish Justice Finds British Parliament Suspension "Illegal"

This court decision "does not change anything" for now, immediately reacted the government, which announced that it would appeal this decision.

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Demonstration on the edge of the Edinburgh Supreme Court, Scotland, 9 September.
Demonstration on the edge of the Edinburgh Supreme Court, Scotland, 9 September. FRANCOIS MORI / AP

Even the most militant of the British deputies dared not believe it anymore. And yet, Wednesday, September 11, the judges of the Supreme Court of Edinburgh, the highest court in Scotland, were right in considering that the suspension, five weeks, the British Parliament was "Illegal"because she was aiming "To hinder it". This decision of the government of Boris Johnson, effective since Monday 9 September and theoretically until 14 October, is therefore "Null and void", concluded the Scottish judges.

This judgment is the complete opposite of that of the High Court for England and Wales, which, on September 6, had held that the suspension of the House of Commons and Lords was "Legal". This government decision is "Essentially political" and the judges do not have to decide, added the London Court.

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Johnson made the controversial decision in late August on the grounds that his government needed time to come up with a reform plan, but a few weeks before a Brexit on Oct. 31, the opposition cried out for democratic shackles. In addition to the two appeals lodged with the Scottish, English and Welsh courts, a third is pending before the High Court of Northern Ireland.

"Constitutional Dynamite"

Will the House of Commons reopen in the afternoon? Will Boris Johnson participate in the traditional issues of the government of the day? Confusion reigned a few hours on Wednesday before the government made it clear that it would wait for the Supreme Court's opinion, immediately seized on Wednesday, to reconsider its decision.

The Supreme Court is scheduled to sit from 17 September. What approach will the nine judges already appointed adopt? Scottish or English? If the first was privileged, it would be "Constitutional dynamite" for lawyer David Allan Green, also columnist for Financial Times. And for good reason: by confirming the illegal nature of the suspension of the Parliament, the judges would conclude that the information given by Mr. Johnson to the Queen and the deputies, to justify the suspension of Parliament, was misleading.

The opposition was not mistaken. Some in the Labor and Liberal Democrats have called for Johnson's resignation. For Sir Ed Davey, number two of Lib-dem, "If it turned out that (the government) has deceived the queen, the whole country would be deeply shocked and alarmed. "Boris Johnson will find himself in an untenable position, all MPs who believe in our constitution should simply say," We stop ", said the conservative elected Dominic Grieve, expelled from the party for opposing the strategy of Mr. Johnson.

Nigel Farage, the leader of the Brexit party, preferred to attack directly the judges, accused "Interference" political, in a now classic register of hard brexiters. In 2016, when justice had decided, forcing Theresa May to get the go-ahead from Parliament to trigger the formal Brexit process (Article 50), the Daily Mail had been scandalous in taking on judges "Enemies of the people".

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On Wednesday, the government did not want to borrow this rhetoric too openly. Veiled critics have been circulating in Downing Street, questioning the impartiality of Scottish judges, but Robert Buckland, the secretary of justice, has expressed on Twitter "His total confidence in their independence". Nevertheless, Mr. Johnson still played the card of the "People against parliamentarians" Wednesday.

Instead of crossing the street to the Commons to face the deputies, he preferred, from his office Downing Street, participate in an impromptu Facebook Live, renamed "Questions from the people to the prime minister". iPad at hand, eyes on the camera, Boris Johnson took fifteen minutes to respond to concerns online Rosy, Geraldine or even Emma, ​​who accused him of authoritarianism: "Parliament has still not achieved the will of the people (Brexit)this is the true democratic failure, replied the prime minister.

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