Source: All England Reporter
Publisher Citation: [2017] All ER (D) 70 (Jan)
Neutral Citation: [2017] UKSC 5
Court: Supreme Court

Lord Neuberger P, Lady Hale DP, Lord Mance, Lord Kerr, Lord Clarke, Lord Wilson, Lord Sumption, Lord Reed, Lord Carnwath, Lord Hughes, Lord Hodge SCJJ

Representation Jeremy Wright QC, HM Attorney General, Lord Keen QC, Advocate General for Scotland, James Eadie QC, Jason Coppel QC, Guglielmo Verdirame, Tom Cross and Christopher Knight (instructed by the Government Legal Department) for the first respondent.
  Lord Pannick QC, Rhodri Thompson QC, Anneli Howard, Tom Hickman and Professor Dan Sarooshi (instructed by Mishcon de Reya LLP) (instructed by Mishcon de Reya LLP) for the first respondent.
  Dominic Chambers QC, Jessica Simor QC and Benjamin John (instructed by Edwin Coe LLP) for the second respondent.
  John F Larkin QC, Attorney General for Northern Ireland and Conleth Bradley SC (instructed by Office of the Attorney General for Northern Ireland) for the Attorney General of Northern Ireland.
  David A Scoffield QC, Professor Christopher McCrudden and Professor Gordon Anthony (instructed by Jones Cassidy Brett Solicitors) for Agnew and others (in respect of the Northern Ireland reference).
  Tony McGleenan QC and Paul McLaughlin (instructed by Crown Solicitor's Office) for the Secretary of State, Northern Ireland (in respect of the Northern Ireland reference).
  Ronan Lavery QC and Conan Fegan BL (instructed by McIvor Farrell Solicitors) for McCord in respect of the Northern Ireland reference).
  Helen Mountfield QC, Gerry Facenna QC, Professor Robert McCorquodale, Tim Johnstone, David Gregory and Jack Williams (instructed by Bindmans LLP) for the first interested party, Pigney and others.
  Manjit Gill QC, Ramby De Mello, Tony Muman, Stuart Luke and Martin Bridger (instructed by Bhatia Best) for the second interested party, AB and others.
  Patrick Green QC, Henry Warwick, Paul Skinner and Matthieu Gregoire (instructed by Croft Solicitors) for the first intervener (Birnie and others).
  James Wolffe QC, Lord Advocate, Martin Chamberlain QC, Douglas Ross QC, Duncan Hamilton, Christine O'Neill and Emily MacKenzie (instructed by Scottish Government Legal Directorate) for the second intervener, Lord Advocate.
  Richard Gordon QC and Tom Pascoe (instructed by Welsh Government Legal Services Department) for the third intervener, Counsel General of Wales.
  Aidan O'Neill QC and Peter Sellar (instructed by Leigh Day) for the fourth intervener, TWGB, by written submissions only. 
  Martin Howe QC, Thomas Sharpe QC, Simon Salzedo QC, Andrew Henshaw QC, Thomas Roe QC, James Bogle, Francis Hoar and Adam Richardson (instructed by Wedlake Bell LLP) for the fifth intervener, Lawyers of Britain, by written submissions only.
Judgment Dates: 24 January 2017


Crown - Prerogative - Review of exercise of prerogative power by court - Notification of intention to withdraw from European Union - 'Brexit' - Whether as matter of constitutional law Crown being entitled to use prerogative powers to give notification - Whether consent of Northern Ireland Assembly being required before any relevant legislation enacted - Whether giving of notice without consent of people of Northern Ireland impeding operation of provision of Northern Ireland legislation giving those people right to determine whether to remain part of the United Kingdom - Treaty on European Union, art 50.

The Case

Crown Prerogative. The Supreme Court upheld the Divisional Court's decision that the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union did not have power under the Crown's prerogative powers to give notice pursuant to art 50 of the Treaty on European Union for the United Kingdom to withdraw from the EU. The authority of primary legislation was required before that course could be taken. Consequently, the Secretary of State's appeal against the High Court's decision would be dismissed. The Supreme Court further ruled on certain devolution questions referred to it by the Attorney General for Northern Ireland and the Court of Appeal, Northern Ireland.

Practice Areas

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