Britain’s Supreme Court Rules Parliament Suspension ‘Unlawful’
Britain's highest court ruled Tuesday that Prime Minister Boris Johnson violated the law when he asked Queen Elizabeth to suspend parliament.
The Supreme Court said that Johnson's request was "unlawful, null and of no effect."
All eleven justices agreed with the ruling. The court said that Johnson's action prevented parliament from carrying out its duties of "holding the government to account."
The order for a five-week suspension of parliament came as Britain prepares to withdraw from the European Union by October 31. However, no deal for leaving the EU has been reached.
Johnson has promised to cancel Britain's EU membership with or without a trade agreement with European officials.
Under his plan to suspend parliament, British lawmakers were not expected to meet until the middle of October. The court ruling, however, said that leaders can "take immediate steps" to return "as soon as possible."
At the time of the ruling, Johnson was attending the United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York. On hearing the news, he said "I have the upmost respect for our judiciary. I don't think it was the right decision."
Johnson's office said that, because of the decision, he would return to London overnight to attend parliament's next meeting.
The prime minister said that his government is working on a deal with EU negotiators. The court decision did not make that effort any easier, he added.
The Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow, welcomed the court's ruling. He said parliament would restart business on Wednesday morning.
The leader of the opposition, Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, told his party that the court decision showed Johnson did not respect the law. He said Johnson should resign "and become the shortest-serving prime minister there's ever been."
The Reuters news agency reports that Conservative Party officials have asked the party's members not to comment on the ruling.
The Supreme Court case involves the rights and responsibilities of the prime minister and parliament. The court considered whether Johnson acted lawfully when, in August, he advised the queen to suspend Parliament for about five weeks. The length of time was important because Britain is required to withdraw from the EU by October 31. Parliament would then not be able to discuss the issue or make new laws.
In the court's ruling, 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" duties.
The court also found that the government had not provided a good enough reason for the suspension.
The government had argued that, under British laws, the issue was for politicians, and not the courts, to decide.
Britain does not have a single constitution; courts, instead, use earlier decisions and laws to make judgements about current cases.
I'm Mario Ritter Jr.
1.carry out 实施
I myself will firmly carry out this plan.
2.return to 返回
They cited Alex's refusal to return to the marital home.
3.make judgements 做出判断
I can't bear people who make judgements and label me.
4.no effect 无效
Our warning produced no effect on her at all.
5.The court ruling, however, said that leaders can "take immediate steps" to return "as soon as possible."
take steps to 采取措施
The directors will take steps to insure against possible failure.
We should take steps to prevent war.
6.The court ruling, however, said that leaders can "take immediate steps" to return "as soon as possible."
as soon as possible 尽快地
I take the view that she should be stopped as soon as possible.
It is wise to seek help and counsel as soon as possible.
最高法院11名大法官全都同意这项裁决 。法院表示，约翰逊的行为导致议会无法履行“让政府承担责任”的职责 。
在英国准备在10月31日退出欧盟之际，约翰逊下令让议会休会5周 。然而，英国尚未达成脱欧协议 。
根据他暂停议会的计划，英国议员预计要到10月中旬才能复会 。但是法院裁决称，议会领导人可“立即采取措施”，让议会尽快复会 。
在这项裁定出台之际，约翰逊正在纽约参加联大会议 。他听到这一消息后表示：“我非常尊重我们的司法部门，但是我认为这不是正确的决定 。”
约翰逊首相表示，他的政府正加紧与欧盟谈判代表达成协议 。他补充说，最高法院的裁决对此毫无帮助 。
下议院议长约翰·伯科对最高法院的裁决表示欢迎 。他说，议会将于周三早上重新开始运作 。
反对党工党领袖杰里米·科宾对工党表示，这项法院裁决表明约翰逊未遵守法律 。他说，约翰逊应该辞职，“成为有史以来任期最短的首相 。”
最高法院的这起案件涉及了首相和议会的权力和责任 。今年8月，最高法院审理了约翰逊要求女王暂停议会大约5周的行为是否合法 。时间的长短非常重要，因为英国必须在10月31日前退出欧盟 。届时议会将会无法讨论该问题或制定新法律 。
英国没有统一的宪法 。相反，法院通过早前的判例和法律对当前案件作出裁决 。