Defending democracy – Miller 2 (the prorogation case)

A series of podcasts looking at three recent cases that had a material impact on freedom, rights and our democracy - for better or worse.

In 2019, the prime minister Boris Johnson took the decision to prorogue parliament from 10 September, with the intention of this lasting until 14 October.

This meant that parliament wouldn’t sit and couldn’t perform its functions for over a month, outside of normal recess dates and during the all-important run-up to the (then scheduled) Brexit day on 31 October.

Legal challenges to this decision were brought in both the Scottish courts, by Joanna Cherry QC MP, and the English courts by Gina Miller.

When these returned different verdicts, the appeals were combined and sent to the UK Supreme Court for a final decision.

There were two principle questions for the Supreme Court to answer. Firstly, was this a purely political matter or could the courts intervene? If they could, was the Prime Minister’s decision lawful and compatible with the sovereignty of parliament?

This podcast explores these questions and what the Supreme Court’s judgment means for defending democracy.


Hazel BlakeHazel Blake is the policy adviser for human rights, constitutional and administrative law at the Law Society.

Tom Hickman QC is a leading barrister with Blackstone Chambers and was part of the team representing Gina Miller in both of her Brexit-related legal challenges Tom Hickmanagainst the government.

Tom was named in the country's Hot 100 lawyers by The Lawyer in 2017. He is also a reader of public law at the UCL Faculty of Law.

Listen to the podcast: