A Divisional Court of the High Court (the Lord Chief Justice, the Master of the Rolls and the President of the Queen’s Bench Division) has today dismissed the judicial review challenge by Gina Miller concerning the Prime Minister’s decision to advise the Queen to prorogue Parliament. The Claimant argued that the giving of the advice was justiciable, and that it was vitiated by an improper purpose because it was designed to prevent Parliament from sitting to debate legislation, in breach of the principle of Parliamentary sovereignty. The Prime Minister argued that the decision was not justiciable, the challenge was academic and there was no improper purpose. A similar challenge by Joanna Cherry MP and others was dismissed by the Scottish Court of Session on Wednesday, and an appeal against that decision is currently being heard by the Inner House. There are also similar proceedings in Northern Ireland.
The Court heard the claim on a rolled-up basis on 5 September 2019, just a week after it was lodged. Today, the Court granted permission to apply for judicial review, but dismissed the claim. It will give its reasons at a later date. It has granted a “leapfrog” certificate under s.12(3A)(c) of the Administration of Justice Act 1969 permitting an application for permission to appeal to be made directly to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court has set aside 17 September 2019 to hear any appeal that may be brought.
David Blundell appeared on behalf of the Prime Minister, led by First Treasury Counsel, Sir James Eadie QC.