Boris Johnson 'unlawfully' prorogued parliament - what does it mean and what happens next?

The British government will appeal the ruling in the U.K. Supreme Court in London next week.
The British government will appeal the ruling in the U.K. Supreme Court in London next week.

This is what might happen next now that the highest court in Scotland has ruled the prorogation of parliament by Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, to be "unlawful".

What actually happened?

A group of M.P.s argued in court last week that the decision taken by Prime Minister Boris Johnson to prorogue parliament for five weeks was unlawful.

Judge Lord Doherty ruled that Prime Minister Johnson had acted lawfully in suspending parliament.

However, the group of M.P.s appealed the decision and on Wednesday morning three Scottish judges in the Court of Session overturned Lord Doherty's ruling.

The three judges ruled that the advice given on the proroguing of parliament by the British government to the Queen was "unlawful".

What happens now?

The British government reacted to the ruling describing it as "disappointing".

The government confirmed its intention to appeal the decision at the U.K. Supreme Court in London on Tuesday September 17, 2019 - the appeal hearing will last three days with a ruling expected towards the end of next week.

Can M.P.s now return to parliament?

Parliament was officially prorogued for five weeks on Monday and despite the three judges ruling it "unlawful" it is highly unlikely that M.P.s will be able to take their seats in the House of Commons until the British government complete their appeal of the ruling next week.

The three judges ruled that the Prime Minister's decision to suspend parliament was "unlawful" but they did not issue an injunction which would have compelled the British government to reconvene parliament.

What happens if the U.K. Supreme Court in London uphold the ruling made by the three judges in Scotland?

This would mean the prorogation of parliament would be null and void and the court would be able to instruct Prime Minister Boris Johnson to reconvene parliament immediately.

The process of reconvening parliament can only be exercised by Boris Johnson and his government.

What happens if the U.K. Supreme Court in London overturn the ruling made by the three judges in Scotland?

This is precisely what the British government will be working towards as it would mean they could maintain the decision to prorogue parliament and M.P.s would not be able to take their seats in the House of Commons until October 14, 2019.