The Supreme Court today begins a three-day hearing of the challenge by Gina Miller to the Prime Minister’s decision to advise the Queen to prorogue Parliament. The Court is sitting as a panel of 11, only the second time in its history that it has done so. The Divisional Court of the High Court (the Lord Chief Justice, the Master of the Rolls and the President of the Queen’s Bench Division) last week handed down its reasons for dismissing the challenge. The claim is being heard alongside an appeal in similar proceedings involving Joanna Cherry MP and others from the Scottish Inner House of the Court of Session. The Inner House allowed that claim and declared the advice to be unlawful. There are also similar proceedings in Northern Ireland.
The Appellant in Miller argues that the giving of the advice is justiciable, and that it is 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 argues that the decision is not justiciable, the challenge is academic and there was no improper purpose. The Divisional Court held that the matter was not justiciable.
The Divisional Court 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.
David Blundell appears on behalf of the Prime Minister in Miller, led by First Treasury Counsel, Sir James Eadie QC.