The Supreme Court convened at 10:30 BST to hear two appeals which is set to determine if Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, acted legally in proroguing parliament for five weeks.
The legal challenge to the PM’s decision – which was approved by the Queen – has reached the Supreme Court after two court hearings produced a mixed outcome.
On September 11, Edinburgh’s Court of Session ruled the suspension unlawful. Earlier, on September 06, London’s High Court ruled the PM had acted lawfully but it allowed the legal challenge to be taken to the Supreme Court.
The two contradictory rulings – Edinburgh calling it an “egregious” attempt to stymie parliament and London ruling that it is not a judicial matter – has set the stage for an intense legal fight at the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court is due to deliberate on the matter for two days before issuing its ruling on Thursday September 19. In total 11 judges will be sitting on the panel, led by Lady Hale, the President of the Supreme Court.
Speaking to the BBC’s political editor, Laura Kuenssberg, ahead of the beginning of the court case, Johnson claimed that he had the “greatest respect for the judiciary”.
Pressed on whether he’d be ready to recall parliament if the judges ruled that he ought to, the PM said: “I think the best thing I could do is wait and see what the judges say”.
The drama at the Supreme Court is unfolding against the backdrop of a bigger political drama, with reports that the PM’s top aide, Dominic Cummings, has floated the possibility of proroguing parliament for a second time, beginning on October 14.
Furthermore, the Supreme Court case is the latest manifestation of Britain’s intensifying constitutional Crisis. As head of state – and by extension the head of the judiciary – the Queen has approved the prorogation of parliament.
So it is unclear what real impact (if any) the ruling of the Supreme Court judges will have on the PM’s and the Queen’s plan to keep parliament suspended as part of a broader effort to get Brexit over the line by October 31.