Advancing human rights and equality
through public interest litigation

Email  Twitter

Andy Wightman MSP and Others v Secretary of State for Exiting the EU [2018] CSIH 62

This is a legal challenge brought by 6 elected representatives and the Good Law Project, of which Jolyon Maugham QC is Director.
The applicants had asked the courts to refer to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) the question of whether the United Kingdom could revoke unilaterally the notification given under Article 50 of the Treaty on the European Union. In March 2017, this notice was given by the Prime Minister to begin the process of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.
At first instance, the application was dismissed. The court held the issue was hypothetical and the conditions required to make a reference had not been met.
The appeal was allowed by the Inner House of the Court of Session. Lord Carloway, Lord President of the Court of Session stated:
It seems neither academic nor premature to ask whether it is legally competent to revoke the notification and thus to remain in the EU. The matter is uncertain in that it is the subject of a dispute; as this litigation perhaps demonstrates.’
‘The answer will have the effect of clarifying the options open to MPs in the lead up to what is now an inevitable vote.’
Normally it takes between 4 and 8 months for the CJEU to decide on a reference. However, decisions can be made more quickly in urgent cases, and a decision in this case could be made before the end of the year.
An article from ITV news can be found here.

European Law