UK Supreme Court rules Johnson's suspension of Parliament was unlawful

Britain’s highest court on Tuesday issued a major blow to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, ruling that his decision to suspend Parliament for five weeks ahead of the Brexit deadline was unlawful.

The unanimous Supreme Court judgment found that Johnson’s actions were outside the powers of the prime minister, making the suspension “unlawful, void and of no effect.” 

Supreme Court President Brenda Hale said the suspension “was unlawful because it had the effect of frustrating or preventing the ability of Parliament to carry out its constitutional functions without reasonable justification.”


Hale clarified that the court’s decision means Parliament was never legally suspended and is technically still in session, according to The Associated Press.

House of Commons Speaker John Bercow said in a statement that the ruling “vindicated the right and duty of Parliament to meet at this crucial time to scrutinise the executive and hold Ministers to account.”

He said lawmakers “must convene without delay. To this end, I will now consult the party leaders as a matter of urgency.” 

The decision came after three days of hearings before a panel of 11 judges, the AP noted. 

Johnson suspended British Parliament over its so-far successful efforts to block a "no-deal Brexit," or a departure from the European Union without a formal trading agreement and provisions to ensure free passage in and out of the U.K., particularly on the border of Northern Ireland and Ireland.

The United Kingdom is set to leave the EU on Oct. 31.

The Supreme Court's ruling led many to call for Johnson’s resignation.

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn said Tuesday that Johnson’s illegal suspension of Parliament shows his “contempt” for democracy and the rule of law.

“I invite Boris Johnson, in the historic words, to consider his position,” Corbyn said.

Johnson, the country’s former foreign secretary, was tapped to replace Theresa MayTheresa Mary MayWill Ocasio-Cortez challenge Biden or Harris in 2024? The Hill's Morning Report - Biden takes office, calls for end to 'uncivil war' Money talks: Why China is beating America in Asia MORE as prime minister in July after winning the Conservative Party’s leadership contest. 

Johnson is currently in New York attending the United Nations General Assembly and is scheduled to make a major Brexit-related speech to U.S. business leaders and investors, according to The Guardian.

He is also scheduled for a series of bilateral talks with President TrumpDonald TrumpUS gives examples of possible sanctions relief to Iran GOP lawmaker demands review over FBI saying baseball shooting was 'suicide by cop' House passes bill aimed at stopping future Trump travel ban MORE and Ireland’s leader, Leo Varadkar.

Officials accompanying Johnson reportedly told the news outlet that it would take time to digest the “extraordinary” ruling and provide some kind of response.

— This report was updated at 7:29 a.m.