8 - 10 Great George St But those constitutionally vital opportunities, and that principle, have been protected for over 300 years, without significant mishap. At its outset the judgment gives a pinched, minimising description of what is in fact and in constitutional reality the high and burdensome responsibility of carrying on the government of the United Kingdom on behalf of the free people that has elected its government by electing members of Parliament, a majority or sufficient plurality of whom maintain confidence in the ministers appointed by the Queen on the advice of the Prime Minister. Be that as it may, the function of the judgment’s talk of constitutional change is to lend some plausibility to the proposition that the exceptional circumstances called (legally called!) And here is the cover-giving device, the card-shuffle by re-description, in paragraph 52: That standard is not concerned with the mode of exercise of the prerogative power within its lawful limits. Professor John Finnis on the unconstitutionality of the Supreme Court’s prorogation judgment John Finnis, QC, the Australian Catholic legal philosopher and barrister, who is Emeritus Professor of Law and Legal Philosophy at Oxford and counts Supreme Court justices from Australia to the US among his former pupils, argues in Policy Exchange that UK Supreme Court has wrongly seized supreme power. In working with the principles of Parliamentary sovereignty and political accountability, the constitutional law has always (partly under the influence of Article 9) distinguished firmly between legal rules (justiciable) and conventions (non-justiciable). Whether it is right or wrong in its own assessments of these risks, costs and benefits, the Court’s well-intentioned deployment of them is a plain usurpation of constitution-making responsibility and authority. A barrister of Gray’s Inn, he practised from 1979 to 1995 and was appointed Queen’s Counsel (honoris causa) in 2017. The facts omitted include: the fact that the Prime Minister’s letter to members of Parliament on August 28 was not merely “updating them on the Government’s plans for its business in Parliament” but was giving them and the electorate advance notice of intent to seek authority to prorogue; the obviously party-political character of various prorogations mentioned by the Divisional Court’s judgment; the great length of various prorogations in what the Divisional Court rightly called modern times. The judgment’s first claim, that the boundaries are legal, was a judicial fiat, and now the second claim, that the judgment merely patrols boundaries, turns out to be a card-shuffle, a fudge. (fix it) Keywords No keywords specified (fix it) Categories ... John Oberdiek - 2008 - Law and Philosophy 27 (3):293 - 307. Professor John Finnis FBA QC (Hon)is Professor Emeritus of Law & Legal Philosophy in the University of Oxford and Biolchini Family Professor of Law at the University of Notre Dame. Prof Finnis’ argument is that a Bill, what became the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2019 engaged the Crown’s financial prerogatives on the basis that delaying an event that would save public money ie leaving the EU under the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2017, incurs public expenditure and that exxpenditure should only be incurred at the request of the Crown. 9 of the Bill of Rights 1689 – on judicial questioning of proceedings in Parliament. The Court’s judgment was wrong. Between 1972 and 1989 he was Rhodes Reader in the Laws of the British Commonwealth and the United States in the University of … It does so, (1) by deploying a theory of “Parliamentary sovereignty” that ignores the constitutional definition of Parliament, (2) by suddenly transforming the historic principle of Parliamentary accountability into a legal principle, for fear of some confessedly “hypothetical” and “extreme” abuse which for centuries has been judged preventable by other existing, non-judicial constraints, and (3) by applying the principles and techniques of modern administrative law to the interactions of the highest constitutional organs, interactions regulated for centuries by constitutional conventions, conventions which our established constitutional law distinguishes from justiciable legal rules. Quite the contrary: it brings that core or essential business of Parliament to an end. In thus impeaching what was self-evidently a proceeding in Parliament, the Court was acting against an Act of Parliament which for over 300 years has been regarded as decisive in defining the constitution of the United Kingdom and the law and conventions (including judicial conventions) governing the highest organs of the realm. The Supreme Court’s judgment in Miller/Cherry [2019] UKSC 41 holds that Parliamentary sovereignty needs to be judicially protected against the power of the Government to prorogue Parliament. He believes that homosexuality is “never a valid, humanly acceptable choice” and that mass immigration constitutes “reverse colonisation”. John Finnis on the obligation to follow unjust law. The Crown’s actions in Parliament are proceedings in Parliament. Professor John Finnis on the unconstitutionality of the Supreme Court’s prorogation judgment. His theory of morality is based on what he calls eight basic goods. The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom has ruled that when three Lords Commissioners prorogued Parliament—by reading a royal commission to the Lords and Commons assembled in the House of Lords at about 2 a.m. on September 10 (a date undiscoverable from the judgment)—it was all “unlawful, null and of no effect”, just “as if the Commissioners had walked into Parliament with a blank piece of paper”. 2) Act 2019, that it does not support the Prime Minister on the critical issue for his Government at this time and that it is especially important that he be ready to face the House of Commons. The device itself is on full display in paragraph 52, prepared for by paragraph 50. In such a situation, the court will intervene if the effect is sufficiently serious to justify such an exceptional course. In its content (as distinct from its law-creating effect), that double assessment—first of risks, and then of the degree of need to avert them despite the side-effects of attempting to—is the core of this judgment. John Finnis Oxford University Abstract This article has no associated abstract. Its purpose is to reveal the strengths and weaknesses of his theory. The unconstitutionality of the Supreme Court’s prorogation judgment | John Finnis.


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