SUPREME COURT RULES APPROVAL OF PARLIAMENT NEEDED TO TRIGGER ARTICLE 50

The post below was first published on our Litigation blog

In a landmark constitutional law ruling, the Supreme Court today held (by a majority of 8 to 3) that the UK Government cannot trigger Article 50 of the Treaty on the European Union without an Act of Parliament authorising it to do so: R (Miller) v Secretary of State for Exiting the EU [2017] UKSC 5.

The ruling confirms the victory of the claimants, who had been successful last November before a Divisional Court of the High Court. The case was appealed directly to the Supreme Court by the Government, leapfrogging the Court of Appeal, and was heard over four days in December 2016. The constitutional importance of the issue and today’s judgment is accentuated by the fact the appeal was heard by the full bench of eleven Justices. For more information, please see our Brexit e-bulletin published today.

SUPREME COURT RULES THAT THE APPROVAL OF PARLIAMENT IS REQUIRED TO TRIGGER ARTICLE 50

In a landmark constitutional law ruling (R (Miller) v Secretary of State for Exiting the EU [2017] UKSC 5, the Supreme Court today held (by a majority of 8 to 3) that the UK Government cannot trigger Article 50 of the Treaty on the European Union ("Article 50") without an Act of Parliament authorising it to do so.

When the UK joined the EU in 1973 by signing the Treaty of Accession and by Parliament enacting the European Communities Act 1972 (the "ECA"), EU law became a source of UK law which takes precedence over all other domestic sources of UK law. Withdrawal from the EU will therefore make a fundamental change to the UK's constitutional arrangements, by removing the source of EU law, which can only take effect through Parliamentary legislation. Withdrawal will also remove a number of existing domestic rights of UK residents. The Supreme Court confirmed the High Court's finding that, as Parliament had legislated to confer these rights in domestic law, only Parliament could take them away: the executive branch of Government could not do so using its prerogative powers to make and break treaties.

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BREXIT – WHAT IP ISSUES TO CONSIDER NOW

The post below was first published on our Intellectual Property blog

We set out our thoughts and predictions upon how protection and enforcement of IP in the UK may be impacted once Brexit arrives. We have also suggested some immediate action points for consideration in the weeks or months to come, prior to Brexit, to ensure that your business is best protected prior to any changes.

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