‘Suspension of the House is within the scope of judicial review’
The U.K. Supreme Court’s unanimous verdict that Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s prorogation of Parliament is a precedent-setting judgment. Foremost, Britain’s highest court has affirmed that the question of the suspension of Parliament fell well within the domain of judicial review. Only days earlier, the High Court in London upheld the government’s contention that the decision was outside its remit, as it pertained to the realm of high politics and policy, over which the courts had no jurisdiction. The English court accordingly did not rule on the legality of the prorogation.
But in its judgment on Tuesday, the Supreme Court has pronounced decisively that any future suspension of the chamber would be apt for legal scrutiny.
This was precisely the issue former Prime Minister John Major had raised in his intervention in this case. The controversy over the sovereignty of Parliament and the authority of elected representatives has been finally restored. The court’s position on that question also assumes immense relevance given that Mr. Johnson has not emphatically ruled out another suspension in the event of the judgment going against the government.
The 11 British justices also ruled that the shutting down of the two chambers for five crucial weeks before the country’s landmark transition amounted to the silencing of the legislature, nay the suspension of parliamentary democracy itself. This categorical position is a direct rebuff to the government’s attempt to gloss over its true intentions, namely to subvert the democratic process in the guise of commencing a new parliamentary session to introduce fresh legislation. Brenda Hale, President of the court, observed that the decision had taken place in exceptional circumstances in the country — namely Britain’s withdrawal from the EU on October 31.
Lady Hale sought to differentiate between a parliamentary recess and a prorogation. Even though the two houses do not meet in the former case, MPs can nevertheless transact urgent legislative business, she pointed out. Conversely, prorogation totally deprives Parliament any opportunity to scrutinise legislation to secure an orderly withdrawal.
The political fallout
Tuesday’s judgment reflects a similarity with the stance of the Scottish court, which earlier ruled on the prorogation of Parliament. The judges held that the circumstances leading up to the government’s decision led them to conclude that it was unlawful. The verdict will hopefully settle the confrontation between U.K’s legislature and the government.
The fallout from the judgment has been predictably explosive, with loud cries for Mr. Johnson’s resignation. It is not inconceivable that his tenure goes down in history as among the most short-lived in British premiership.
British Labour leader promises to hold the government to account when the Parliament resumes today
British Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn called on Boris Johnson on Tuesday to resign and demanded a new election after the Supreme Court ruled that the Prime Minister’s move to suspend Parliament was unlawful.
Mr. Corbyn was one of several opposition lawmakers to increase the pressure on Mr. Johnson, whose hardline strategy to take Britain out of the European Union, with or without a deal, on October 31 appeared to be unravelling after the court ruling.
“Tomorrow Parliament will return. The government will be held to account for what it has done. Boris Johnson has been found to have misled the country. This unelected Prime Minister should now resign,” Mr. Corbyn told his party to thunderous applause and shouts of “Johnson Out!”
“I invite Boris Johnson, in the historic words, to consider his position. And become the shortest-serving Prime Minister there’s ever been,” Mr. Corbyn.
Mr. Johnson will not quit, Downing Street sources said, but the Prime Minister will face an angry Parliament on Wednesday, where lawmakers will try their utmost to prevent him from orchestrating a so-called no-deal Brexit.
Britain is due to leave the EU on October 31, but Brexit is more uncertain than ever, with few able to predict when, how or even whether the country will exit.
“So obey the law, take no deal off the table, and have an election to elect a government that respects democracy, that respects the rule of law and brings power back to the people, not usurps it in the way that Boris Johnson has done,” he said
Mr. Corbyn brought his closing speech forward by a day. The court decision took the heat off Mr. Corbyn, who just a day earlier had frustrated many of his own pro-EU lawmakers by successfully pushing through his Brexit strategy — to try to win an election, and then hold a special conference to determine how Labour should campaign in any second referendum.
Many members and lawmakers said it was time for Labour to start campaigning to ‘remain’ in the EU.
He urged other nations to join the U.S. to build pressure
Donald Trump SAUL LOEB
U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday denounced Iran’s “blood lust” and called on other nations to join the United States to pressure Iran after attacks on Saudi oil facilities, but said there is a path to peace.
“America knows that while anyone can make war, only the most courageous can choose peace,” Mr. Trump said in an address to the United Nations General Assembly.
“All nations have a duty to act. No responsible government should subsidise Iran’s blood lust. As long as Iran’s menacing behaviour continues sanctions will not be lifted, they will be tightened,” he added.
Mr. Trump also had a stern message for China and its President, Xi Jinping, in what was his third annual appearance at the UN, saying the world is watching how Beijing handles mass demonstrations in Hong Kong that has raised concerns about a potential Chinese crackdown.
“How China chooses to handle the situation will say a great deal about its role in the word in the future. We are all counting on President Xi as a great leader,” he said.
The September 14 attacks in Saudi Arabia have rattled the West Asia and raised concerns about a broader war. Mr. Trump has shown restraint in the crisis, holding back from military retaliation, at least for now.
U.S. President Donald Trump stirred up fresh outrage on social media Monday with a tweet mocking an impassioned speech made by 16-year-old activist Greta Thunberg at the UN climate summit in .
Her voice shaking with emotion in an address that was the defining moment of the summit, Ms. Thunberg accused world leaders of betraying her generation by failing to act on rising emissions, repeating the words “how dare you” four times.
“You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words, and yet I’m one of the lucky ones,” she said. “People are suffering. People are dying.”
“She seems like a very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future. So nice to see!” climate-skeptic Trump tweeted a few hours later, alongside a clip of the speech.
The trolling of the teen activist — who suffers from Asperger’s syndrome, a mild form of autism — racked up more than 16,000 responses in three hours, many of them attacking the President. “Donald Trump picking on an innocent young girl is absolutely disgusting!!” wrote one user.
A video surfaced showing the teen glowering at the President as he passed by with his entourage.
In Kamba Ramayanam, Prahlada says to Hiranyakasipu, “Vishnu is there in your words too.” Hiranyakasipu denies the existence of the Lord. How can the Lord be in His words then? To understand this, we have to read a verse by Nammazhvar, said M.A. Venkatakrishnan in a discourse. Nammazhvar says that if you say God exists, He does. If you say He does not exist, that means He exists. Commentators, explaining Nammazhvar’s verse, have based their explanation on Kooratazhvan’s interpretations. Kooratazhvan was a great logician. What Nammazhvar’s words mean is that you can only prove something positively. You cannot offer negative proof. If you say there is no pot, then all it means is that there is no pot here. It does not mean that there is no such thing as a pot. If you say there is no God, then all it means is that you cannot see God. It does not mean there is no God. Suppose, just for argument’s sake, you ask a man to talk of something that does not exist. Suppose he says there is no Kamadhenu. Then you ask him how he knows about Kamadhenu. Suppose he says he read about it in sacred texts, then his statement is illogical. How can he quote from texts which speak of Kamadhenu’s existence, and then say he does not believe Kamadhenu exists? You then tell him to talk of something else that does not exist. He says, “Lotuses in the sky or rabbits with horns.” Obviously, there are no lotuses in the sky, or rabbits with horns. But in each case, he has taken the names of things that do exist. Lotuses, the sky, rabbits and horns all of them are real. So, in order to try to talk of something that does not exist, he had to rely on things that do exist. Thus, there can only be positive proof, no negative proof. So, when Hiranyakasipu is denying God, God is in his words.