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Professor Craig is the Professor of English Law at Oxford. Widely respected on constitutional issues. He has published an article in which he opines that the prorogation is unlawful and the courts can intervene. ohrh.law.ox.ac.uk/prorogation-co…
He says executive cannot use prerogative power to prorogue Parliament to stop it legislating at all. He says that is a stronger case for court intervention than either De Keyser or Miller where the prerogative power was used to circumvent only one statute in each case.
He says the suggestion that the reason for the prorogation is to prepare to deliver PM’s wider agenda can be seen as a veneer to disguise the true purpose. And he points out that the prorogation is not required to deliver the wider agenda and indeed delays it.
This powerful, measured intervention comes from a source which cannot be ignored. His point that this is a more significant abuse of the prerogative power to circumvent parliamentary sovereignty than De Keyser or Miller where the courts did intervene is significant.
Courts begin hearing the case this coming Tuesday in Scotland and Thursday in England. Even if the prorogation for a Queens Speech we’re overtaken by a prorogation and a dissolution for a General Election the courts should give a final ruling if possible in the Supreme Court.
There is a widespread acceptance that the reason for the long prorogation is to prevent Parliament stopping No Deal either by legislation or a vote of no confidence. The reference to preparing the wider agenda is, as Professor Craig says, a veneer.
There should be an authoritative ruling from the courts this is an abusive use of prerogative powers.
Professor Craig’s article is expressed in modest language and avoids sound bites or hyperbole. It is devastating and reveals that constitutionally the Emperor has no clothes.
It comes at the same time as Michael Gove, subsequently backed up by No 10, refused to confirm that the government would comply with any statutory requirements placed upon it by parliament next week.
Only the courts can state authoritatively whether the PM can with impunity ignore both Parliamentary sovereignty and the rule of law.
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