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U.K. Parliament Suspension Is Ruled Unlawful by Scottish Court

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U.K. Parliament Suspension Is Ruled Unlawful by Scottish Court
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has suspended the U.K.’s Parliament until Oct. 14.


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daniel leal-olivas/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

LONDON—Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend Parliament for several weeks has been ruled unlawful by Scotland’s highest civil court, a decision that shunts the issue to the U.K.’s Supreme Court for a final ruling.

A panel of judges ruled in favor of a group of lawmakers who said that Mr. Johnson’s decision to shut Parliament for about a month on Sept. 9 was illegal.

Lawmakers argued that the lengthy shutdown was designed by Mr. Johnson to prevent them debating Brexit before the U.K.’s planned departure from the European Union on Oct. 31.

The ruling will now head to the U.K.’s highest court, with a decision expected from Supreme Court judges on Tuesday. 

Parliament is currently suspended until Oct. 14 and Wednesday’s ruling from the Scottish court won’t change that unless it is upheld by the higher court next week.

While the suspending—or “proroguing”— of Parliament is a regular occurrence, a senior Scottish judge ruled, “it would nevertheless be unlawful if its purpose was to stymie parliamentary scrutiny of the executive.”

In a statement the U.K. government said it “needs to bring forward a strong domestic legislative agenda. Proroguing Parliament is the legal and necessary way of delivering this.”

Write to Max Colchester at max.colchester@wsj.com

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