The supreme court of the United Kingdom has ruled that the decision by Prime Minister Boris Johnson to suspend parliament for five weeks is unlawful.
The prime minister had asked Queen Elizabeth II for permission to suspend parliament for five weeks in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline.
According to him, the current parliamentary session had been running for too long “and needs to be brought to a close”.
The Queen approved the request leading to the suspension of the parliament.
But in a unanimous ruling by 11 judges on Tuesday, the supreme court held that the prime minister should not have asked the Queen to suspend parliament until 14 October.
The judges unanimously agreed that the advice was justiciable.
Brenda Hale, head of the court, said the prorogation was “void and of no effect”, adding that “Parliament has not been prorogued”.
“The court is bound to conclude… that the decision to advise Her Majesty to prorogue parliament was unlawful,” Hale said in the ruling.
“It is for parliament, and in particular the Speaker and the Lord Speaker, to decide what to do next. Unless there is some parliamentary rule of which we are unaware, they can take immediate steps to enable each House to meet.”
Reacting to the ruling in a statement, John Bercow, speaker of the house of commons, said: ”I welcome the Supreme Court’s judgement that the prorogation of Parliament was unlawful.”
“The judges have rejected the Government’s claim that closing down parliament for five weeks was merely standard practice to allow for a new Queen’s speech.
“In reaching their conclusion, they have vindicated the right and duty of parliament to meet at this crucial time to scrutinise the executive and hold Ministers to account.
“As the embodiment of our Parliamentary democracy, the House of Commons must convene without delay. To this end, I will now consult the party leaders as a matter of urgency.”