The highest court in Scotland found Wednesday that Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s planned prorogation of Parliament is lawful and can proceed unhindered.
The case was brought to the Court of Session in Edinburgh by a cross-party group of 75 parliamentarians. They argued the PM had exceeded his powers.
But Lord Doherty ruled Wednesday the issue was for politicians and voters to judge, and not the courts.
He said there had been no contravention of the law by the UK government.
Addressing Edinburgh’s Court of Session on Wednesday, Lord Doherty said any decision to prorogue Parliament was “political territory”.
He said: “In my view, the advice given in relation to the prorogation decision is a matter involving high policy and political judgement.
“This is political territory and decision-making, which cannot be measured by legal standards, but only by political judgements. Accountability for the advice is to Parliament and, ultimately, the electorate, and not to the courts.”
“I do not accept the submission that the prorogation contravenes the rule of law and the claim is justiciable because of that,” he added.
“In my opinion, there has been no contravention of the rule of law. The power to prorogue is a prerogative power and the Prime Minister had the vires to advise the sovereign as to its exercise.”
The group of MPs and peers behind the legal challenge, who are headed by SNP MP Joanna Cherry and Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson, have said they will appeal against the ruling.
British barrister Jo Maugham QC responded by confirming an appeal would be launched against the decision, calling it a “pre season friendly”.
My statement on this morning’s decision. pic.twitter.com/F1iSlM1OOW
— Jo Maugham QC (@JolyonMaugham) September 4, 2019
The appeal would almost certainly be heard this week – and potentially as early as Wednesday afternoon.
The action will be heard at the Inner House, which is the supreme civil court in Scotland.