Timeline of events leading up to key UK Supreme Court ruling

LONDON — Britain’s Supreme Court is set to rule Tuesday on whether Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s five-week suspension of Parliament was legal. Here’s how we got here.July 24, 2019: Boris Johnson becomes prime minister after winning a party leadership contest to succeed Theresa May. He vows to leave the European Union on Oct. 31, with or without a deal.August 28: Johnson suspends Parliament for a five-week period ending Oct. 14. Queen Elizabeth II approves his request, as she is required to do under Britain’s constitutional monarchy. He says it is a routine decision to set the stage for announcement of his new domestic agenda, but House of Commons Speaker John Bercow calls it a “constitutional outrage.”August 29: Activist Gina Miller launches legal action against Johnson at the High Court in London. Her case is subsequently joined by former prime minister John Major and others.August 30: In a separate case, a judge in Scotland refuses to grant an emergency measure blocking the suspension of Parliament but schedules a full hearing at a later date.September 4: The Court of Session in Scotland rejects the bid to have the suspension declared unlawful.September 5: The High Court in London hears Miller’s case against the suspension. Her lawyers argue the move was an “unlawful abuse of power” by the prime minister.September 6: The High Court in London rejects Miller’s case. She vows to take it to the Supreme Court.September 11: The Inner House of the Court of Session in Scotland rules that the suspension was illegal and was intended to “stymie” Parliament ahead of the Brexit deadline.September 17: A three-day hearing on both cases begins at the Supreme Court, with 11 justices presiding.September 24: The Supreme Court is scheduled to announce its decision.The Associated Press read more

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UN rights office calls on US to impose death penalty moratorium after

The prolonged death of Mr. Lockett – who reportedly died of a heart attack after an execution that went wrong – is the second case of apparent extreme suffering caused by malfunctioning lethal injections reported in 2014 in the US, according to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).The other case was that of Dennis McGuire, executed by the state of Ohio on 16 January 2014 with an allegedly untested combination of drugs. “The apparent cruelty involved in these recent executions simply reinforces the argument that authorities across the United States should impose an immediate moratorium on the use of the death penalty and work for abolition of this cruel and inhuman practice,” OHCHR spokesperson Rupert Colville told reporters in Geneva. The Office also noted that the suffering endured by Mr. Lockett during the execution appears to run counter to the 8th Amendment of the US Constitution, which states that “…nor cruel and unusual punishment [shall be] inflicted.” The execution of a second man in Oklahoma, which had been scheduled to take place later on Tuesday, was stayed by the Governor, who has ordered a review of execution procedures and protocols. The UN Human Rights Committee and the Committee against Torture have both previously called on the US to review its execution methods in order to prevent severe pain and suffering. Most recently, in March 2014, the Human Rights Committee recommended the US ensure that lethal drugs used for executions originate from legal, regulated sources, and are approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Thirty-two out of 50 states in the US still have the death penalty in their laws (in addition to the US Government and the US military). Eighteen states in the US have abolished the death penalty, most recently Maryland in 2013 and Connecticut in 2012. The UN opposes the use of the death penalty in all circumstances. read more

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