Shaping judicial and parliamentary consideration of Brexit

Credit: Francais a Londres/Unsplash

Mark Elliott’s expertise on the UK constitution played a pivotal role in two of the UK’s most significant legal developments relating to Brexit: the Supreme Court’s landmark judgments in the two cases brought against the UK government by Gina Miller and the enactment of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018.

The Miller cases challenged the UK government over its legal authority to trigger the Article 50 withdrawal process and, secondly, the legality of the government’s attempt to prorogue Parliament at a particularly sensitive time in relation to Brexit.

Elliott’s blog, Public Law for Everyone, influenced the way in which the government argued its case in Miller I and the way in which the claimant argued its case in Miller II.

In addition, Elliott’s role (along with Stephen Tierney, University of Edinburgh) advising the House of Lords Constitution Committee on the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 led to a heightened awareness in Parliament of its constitutional risks. Subsequent amendments to the Bill, made directly on the committee’s recommendations, significantly improved this vital piece of legislation.

Elliott’s further advice to the Committee and a related publication on his blog in respect of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2019 were both cited in debate in the House of Lords and informed amendments that were moved in respect of the legislation.

“I have no doubt that Professor Elliott’s contribution was very significant in helping the Supreme Court to understand the constitutional law context and implications, and in assisting them to the answer at which they arrived.”

– Lord Pannick QC, Lead Counsel for claimant in Miller II