Short Cuts – Stephen Sedley – London Review of Books

Posted February 23rd, 2017 in constitutional history, EC law, news, parliament, royal prerogative, treaties by sally

‘When the government decided to appeal to the Supreme Court against the High Court’s ruling that ministers could not lawfully use the royal prerogative to leave the EU, many lawyers, myself included, thought it a hopeless enterprise. A court of three judges – the Chief Justice, the Master of the Rolls and Lord Justice Sales (who had been standing counsel to the government when at the bar) – had held on cogently reasoned grounds that the prior authority of an Act of Parliament was required. Nevertheless the Supreme Court sat in full, all 11 members, to hear what even the sober Constitution Unit was calling the case of the century. Well, the appeal failed, and by a decisive margin of eight votes to three. But the margin conceals what was jurisprudentially a closer-run thing than the numbers suggest.’

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London Review of Books, 2nd March 2017