The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has, today (27 November) heard legal arguments on the question of whether the UK's Article 50 notification of its intention to leave the EU may be unilaterally revoked. The hearing followed failed attempts on the part of UK Government earlier this month to appeal the decision of the Scottish Courts to refer the question of law to the CJEU for an answer.
Pictured at the CJEU, from left: Jennifer Jack, Anneli Howard, Gerry Facenna QC and Morag Ross QC
The UK Government was first refused leave to appeal to the UK Supreme Court by the Inner House of the Court of Session and then, following an application by Government direct to the UK Supreme Court for permission to appeal, that court ruled that it does not have jurisdiction to consider an appeal by the UK government at this point in the ongoing Article 50 proceedings. This meant that the CJEU could hear the legal arguments in the case from the parties and on behalf of the European Commission and Council.
Jennifer Jack of Harper Macleod LLP ("one of the best public lawyers in Scotland": Chambers UK) and John Halford of Bindmans LLP, London (listed by Legal 500 as a leader in the field of administrative and public law and in the Brexit category) are representing two Westminster MP's, Chris Leslie and Tom Brake, in the case. They are instructing a top team of Counsel with expertise in Public and EU Law: Morag Ross QC of Axiom Advocates (ranked band 1 for administrative and public law in Scotland by Chambers UK); Gerry Facenna QC and Anneli Howard, both from Monckton Chambers (respectively shortlisted for “Public Law Silk of the Year” at the 2018 Legal 500 Awards; and recommended as a leading junior by Chambers UK and Legal 500) and Stephen Donnelly of Arnot Manderson Advocates/ One Essex Court.
Read the submissions on behalf of MPs Brake and Leslie
The team travelled to Luxembourg to make oral submissions to the full court at the CJEU to supplement the written observations they already made (click on the links to view the content of the oral and written submissions).
The CJEU is expected to deliver its ruling within an unusually short timeframe, given the imminence of critical votes on Brexit in Westminster and the importance to the MP's of understanding the legal position when discharging their parliamentary duties.