Jacob Rowbottom: Political Purposes and the Prorogation of Parliament – UK Constitutional Law Association

‘While the prorogation of Parliament has generated political controversy, constitutional lawyers are asking whether the government acted legally in advising the Monarch. The legal challenges to the prorogation will face a number of hurdles. Even if the prerogative power is justiciable, there are difficult questions in identifying the specific legal issue. When writing about a potential challenge in June, Lord Pannick stated that one legal objection is that ‘the prime minister would be seeking to prorogue parliament for the purpose of avoiding parliamentary sovereignty on an issue of significant constitutional importance’. This post will explore a related line of argument, which focuses on proroguing Parliament as a means to avoid political accountability (so the argument does not rely on the language of sovereignty). The starting point in the line of argument is that the prorogation will to some degree hinder Parliament in whatever it wants to do in the period immediately prior to Britain exiting the EU. That goes beyond the potential to enact legislation or pass a motion of no confidence, and also includes the ordinary channels of political accountability and scrutiny of government.’

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UK Constitutional Law Association, 3rd September 2019

Source: ukconstitutionallaw.org