The judges from the Court of Sessions have released their reasons for declaring the prorogation of Parliament illegal. There's not much detail given the in BBC...https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-49683936
... but you can find the full document here : https://www.scotcourts.gov.uk/docs/default-source/cos-general-docs/pdf-docs-for-opinions/2019csih49.pdf?sfvrsn=0
The basic gist of it goes something like this :
- Parliament controls itself. It's not for the court to decide how Parliament behaves, but in order for Parliament to scrutinise itself, it must obviously be sitting.
- That there are some Parliamentary matters on which the courts can't judge, that doesn't mean there aren't some on which they can. There's plenty of precedence for the courts getting involved in Parliamentary matters; just because a matter is political does not mean it's not also subject to legal intervention.
- It's perfectly reasonable for the courts to act as a check on the power of the executive in cases where Parliament cannot.
- The defendant conceded that there are some circumstances in which prorogation could
be subject to legal action. That seems to have backfired as it sets a basis for the court to intervene despite having never done so in previous prorogations.
- Previous lengthy prorogations are all exceptional, and as such do not set precedent for how to judge the legality of this one.
- Prorogation is different to recess, as during recess Parliament can at any time recall itself. Hence the usual Parliamentary recess at this time of year for party conferences is not relevant; Parliament has indeed been suspended for an exceptionally long time.
- Hardly any reasons were given by the defendant as to why such a long progration was required. Boris appears to have protested too much about how it should be emphasised that it's not about Brexit; the court found this a clear indication that the opposite was true (the phrase, "die in a ditch" is also mentioned). The documents presented seem to have been key in changing the judge's minds about the purpose of prorogation.
- Although Parliament has control over itself, and it's a governmental privilege as to when to prorogue, the stated reasons were clearly wrong. Thus the advice was illegal and the purpose was to frustrate the will of Parliament, which is an abuse of power.
Next Tuesday we'll get to hear if the Supreme Court agrees with them.
The full Court of Session judgment reveals details of why Scottish judges ruled prorogation was unlawful.www.bbc.com