David Greene, Head of Group Action Litigation in Ally Law Member Firm Edwin Coe, LLP, represented winning Claimant Dier Dos Santos in the high profile case of Santos and Miller v Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union (known as the “Article 50 challenges”). Court hearings began in October and concluded last week with many deeming it to be the most important constitutional case for a generation. The judicial review proceedings brought by the Claimants, along with various intervening groups, revolves around the assertion that a Parliamentary vote is needed before Article 50 can be triggered. See Edwin Coe Article 50 Challenge. The High Court of Justice ruled that the U.K. government does not have the constitutional capacity to trigger the U.K.’s withdrawal from the European Union without further primary legislation being passed. See Bloomberg Brexit Lawsuit Ruling Based on 300-Year-Old Law.
The Claimants disputed the idea put forward by the U.K. Government that Article 50 can be triggered using the royal prerogative (essentially allowing the Government to invoke Article 50 without the consent and authorisation of Parliament). Among the arguments raised by the Claimants are that that the use of the royal prerogative by the executive would have the effect of allowing the Government to unilaterally remove fundamental rights that British citizens have under the European Communities Act 1972 and subsequent legislation, and that many of these rights would be permanently stripped from British citizens and the prerogative cannot be used to take away rights that have been enshrined in statute passed by Parliament.
This “extraordinary” ruling now plunges the Government’s plans for Brexit into disarray as the process of leaving the EU will be subject to full parliamentary involvement and/or control. See ITV Report Government needs Parliament approval to trigger Brexit, containing David Greene’s post-ruling statement and other commentary. The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear the case on an expedited basis in early December.
David Greene received the “Group Action Litigation Lawyer of the Year” award in the 2016 Legal Awards by Corporate LiveWire. The judging panel at Corporate LiveWire placed each shortlisted candidate under scrutiny, identifying the most client-focused and dedicated teams and individuals. Each winner was handpicked has shown excellence, great performance and dedication over the course of the year, and is set to play an important role in continued economic growth in the legal sector. See Edwin Coe Press Release: David Greene named Group Action Litigation Lawyer of the Year.