Lawyers at Edwin Coe LLP, David Greene, Thomas Johnson, and Frederick Sheppard, have today issued proceedings on behalf of Jess Phillips MP and Alex Sobel MP to intervene in Gina Miller’s High Court proceedings against the Prime Minister. The intervention, which seeks to dovetail Ms Miller’s case, argues the Prime Minister’s decision to prorogue Parliament in the period leading up to the United Kingdom leaving the European Union on 31 October 2019 is an abuse of power and a breach of Jess and Alex’s right to freedom of expression as contained in Article 10 of the Human Rights Act 1998.

David Greene, Senior Partner at Edwin Coe LLP, says:

“The issues are of supreme constitutional importance. It is vital that those issues are fully developed in court.  Our clients, who are members of parliament, seek naturally a political resolution in Parliament to the question of whether the UK should leave the EU without a deal but believe that their entitlement as MPs to take a full part in that debate and decision is being unlawfully curtailed. They join the action to ensure that the voice of backbench MPs is heard in the question of whether the foundation of the proroguing of Parliament is lawful”

Jess Phillips MP commented:

When the Prime Minister took the decision to prorogue Parliament it was a sad day for our democracy. Not only does he seek to gag Parliament from its clear opposition to ‘no deal’ but he is throwing out pending legislation including the Domestic Violence Bill. The Bill is dedicated to addressing the issues faced by victims of violent crime, and those who provide the services that respond.

Since 2013, the All-Party Parliamentary Group in partnership with Women’s Aid and in collaboration with survivors, national and regional specialist services, academics and professionals (such as those working in the criminal justice system and local authorities), have worked together to shape and promote the Bill, a key aspect of which is the barring of abusers from cross-examining their victims in the family courts – a practice which can, from first-hand experience does, cause immense distress and amount to a continuation of abuse. This is a vital piece of legislation to protect the victims of domestic abuse, an urgent piece of legislation that will be lost. Those that it seeks to protect will be victims of the Prime Minister’s decision to ride rough shod over our democracy.”

Alex Sobel MP said:

It is absolutely clear that the proroguing of Parliament is a device to shut down the opposition to ‘no deal’. The intent of the Prime Minister to rob Parliament of its constitutional rights is unlawful.  As a Member of Parliament, I have been elected by the electorate to represent them but Boris Johnson now wants to take away from the electorate their rights that are part and parcel of our democracy by shutting me out of the constitutional decision making process in Parliament. In seeking to challenge that in court I am standing up for my constituents’ democratic rights to be exercised through Parliament.

The claim will be presented alongside Ms Miller’s legal team in the High Court on Thursday.

About Edwin Coe

Edwin Coe LLP is a full service law firm based in the heart of London’s historic legal district in Lincoln’s Inn. Founded in 1913, we have grown from our litigation origins to become a thriving and dynamic practice, providing a comprehensive range of legal services to meet the needs of a wide variety of businesses, individuals and organisations based throughout the UK and internationally.

With 43 Partners, we are ranked 115 in the 2022 edition of The Lawyer ‘UK 200’ law firms and are recommended in all the major legal directories. We provide clients with innovative, tailored and integrated legal services and combine a highly personal and responsive service with industry leading expertise.

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