A panel of two senior High Court judges stated Tuesday, 19 July 2016, that litigation challenging the UK Prime Minister’s prerogative to trigger the Article 50 Brexit procedure will be heard in mid-October.
The litigation, brought on behalf of several British citizens, claims that Prime Minister Theresa May must first obtain the UK Parliament’s approval for a government notification to be valid. The two judges overseeing the directions hearing, Lord Justice Sir Brian Leveson and Mr Justice Cranston, heard arguments as to when a trial to hear “substantive” arguments should take place. Lord Justice Leveson stated that a hearing will be listed for “two days, with the opportunity to extend if necessary into a third day, starting October 15.”
According to Lord Justice Leveson, the High Court judgment could, if necessary, bypass the Court of Appeal and effectively leapfrog directly to the Supreme Court, the UK’s highest court, on the basis that the case deals with “issues of constitutional importance” and so that a final decision can be reached before the government’s intended trigger date. Government lawyers at yesterday’s hearing stated that the Article 50 notification would not occur before the end of 2016. Lord Justice Leveson added that the court was taking the case “seriously” and would move “expeditiously.”