The Northern Ireland Court of Appeal is due to hear submissions on behalf of a border citizen in Northern Ireland on whether the Prime Minister allegedly acted in bad faith and for improper purpose in relation to Brexit.
The hearing is due to take place before the Court of Appeal in Belfast on the 12th March 2021.
At a preliminary hearing on the 1st February 2021 the Lord Chief Justice Declan Morgan issued a number of questions to both the border citizen’s senior barrister Mr Barry MacDonald QC and the barrister acting on behalf of the PM, Dr Tony McGleenan QC. The questions queried the legal limits of the Prime Minister’s powers and whether he operated within or outside those limits in his handling of Brexit.
Papers were originally lodged at the High Court in Belfast at the end of October 2020 with the anonymous challenger seeking a court declaration that Prime Minister Boris Johnson signed the Withdrawal Agreement for improper purposes, constituting an act of bad faith.
The judicial review leave hearing in Belfast High Court was heard on Wednesday 9th December 2020. The appeal hearing has now been fixed for the 12th March 2021. Both the judicial review court and the Court of Appeal granted the challenger anonymity for the purposes of the case.
The Applicant’s solicitor, Patricia Coyle, said previously:
“The Applicant set out her case extensively in the lower court and asked the Court to direct a response from the Prime Minister Mr Boris Johnson. In the Judicial Review Court in December 2020 the court did not direct or request a response but instead dealt with the legal arguments presented by lawyers acting on behalf of the Prime Minister. This challenge has been ongoing from October 2020. The Prime Minister has yet to provide a simple denial that he acted in bad faith or for improper purposes as alleged by the Applicant. He has simply ignored the issues raised by the Applicant and made no attempt to provide an explanation for the matters relied upon or to provide the information requested by the Applicant. The issue in this case is one of good governance and not simply Brexit. Our client welcomes the opportunity to apply to the Court of Appeal for leave on the 12th March for leave for a full hearing and to deal with the questions on the limits of the PM’s powers raised by the Court of Appeal on the 1st February 2021.”
Harte Coyle Collins
Solicitors & Advocates