When political crises morph into legal disputes, courts often tread lightly, fearing the results if powerful political interests align against them. Yet these moments of political crisis can also provide a court with opportunities to reaffirm or enhance its role in the constitutional system. When presented with the Miller I litigation following the 2016 referendum on Brexit, the U.K. Supreme Court was handed “a political bombshell.” Would the case harm or enhance the Court’s legitimacy? Miller I seemed to go well for the Court. In 2018, Lady Hale, the then President, described her court as looking “more and more like a constitutional court,” and suggested that Parliament Square be renamed “Constitution Square.” The Court’s 2019 decision in Miller II, however, has resulted in threats of jurisdiction stripping and the Johnson Government’s promise to “take back control.” This paper will assess Miller I & II in comparative perspective to shed light on the Court’s choices.
We look forward to welcoming you on July 3-5, 2023 for our Annual Conference entitled "Islands and Ocean: Public Law in a Plural World." The conference will take place at the Victoria University of Wellington, in New Zealand.Call For Papers and Panels