British Prime Minister Boris Johnson acted unlawfully when he suspended parliament just before Brexit.
That was the ruling from the UK's Supreme Court on Tuesday (September 24), and delivered by the president of the court, Lady Hale.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) SUPREME COURT HEAD, LADY BRENDA HALE, SAYING: "The court is bound to conclude therefore that the decision to advise her majesty to prorogue parliament was unlawful, because it had the effect of frustrating or preventing the ability of parliament to carry out its constitutional functions without reasonable justification." Parliament was suspended, or prorogued in British jargon, from September 10.
It was approved by Queen Elizabeth, on the advice of the prime minister, which she is required to do under the country's complex and uncodified constitution.
The Supreme Court ruled that the advice, and therefore the suspension of parliament, was unlawful.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) SUPREME COURT HEAD, LADY BRENDA HALE, SAYING: "This means that the order in council to which it led was also unlawful, void and of no effect and should be quashed." Lady Hale said it is now up to parliament to decide what to do next, adding that they should be able to take immediate steps to allow both the upper and lower houses to meet.