Your key questions about the Brexit Supreme Court case answered

Posted By: December 05, 2016

Irish News (Belfast). Monday, December 5, 2016

The highest court in the land is set to have its say on one of the most important constitutional cases in British legal history.

The Supreme Court is being asked to decide on an earlier ruling that infuriated Brexiteers and led to High Court judges being labeled “Enemies of the People” by the Daily Mail.

Here’s everything you need to know.

Who is hearing the case?

Eleven Supreme Court justices – a record number to hear an appeal. One of them is Lord Kerr (68) who served as Lord Chief Justice of Northern Ireland from 2004 to 2009. He was the last Law Lord appointed before the creation of the Supreme Court.

Educated at St Colman’s College, Newry, and Queen’s University, Belfast, he was called to the Bar of Northern Ireland in 1970, and to the Bar of England and Wales in 1974.

What is the issue?

The panel is being asked by the Government to overturn a High Court ruling that the Prime Minister must seek MPs’ approval to trigger the process of taking Britain out of the European Union.

Who made the ruling at the High Court and when?

A panel of three judges in London, led by Lord Chief Justice Lord Thomas, made the ruling on November 3.

Who is presenting the case for the Government?
The Government’s top law officer, Attorney General Jeremy Wright, will be arguing the case for quashing the High Court decision.

What will he argue?

The justices will be asked to find that the High Court “erred” in its ruling and that it’s for the Government alone to exercise powers in the conduct of the UK’s international affairs.

Who else will be presenting arguments?

The justices will hear from a wide range of parties, including representatives from Northern Ireland and the Scottish and Welsh Governments.

How long will the case take?

The legal submissions will be heard over four days.

When will there be a ruling?

Not until the new year.