Immediately after the decision was released by the UK Supreme Court (UKSC) on September 24th, 2019, the majority who commented said, “Nobody expected this…” Some shouted, “Its unbelievable…shocking….” The reactions themselves, rather than the unanimous ruling of all eleven Supreme Court judges, handed down by Lady Brenda Hale, is what seems to be shocking to many. But in reality, both the nature of the decision and the tremor it has generated, should be shocking to all. These are my reasons.

1. Because politicians have, hitherto, circumvented the law

Until this decision, it had become fashionable for parliament to be used just as a rubber-stamp for the whims of the politicians in power. This did not matter whether that parliament was found in a nation with Parliamentary Democracy (such as the UK, Canada, and etc.) or in a Presidential Democracy (such as the USA, Zambia, and etc.). It was that ardent campaigner and businesswoman’s sentiments that solidified this notion: “It was very nervous up to the moment…there was little guarantee that we would win this,” (Gina Miller). This should shock every democracy lover and Rule of Law agitator. The people had given up on the power of courts or the law to rule. The world had resigned itself to the caprice of politicians to manipulate the law and “abuse” parliament for its own hidden agendas. That’s why people were surprised at the decision.

2. Because abuses of power have, hitherto, been cloaked in divided court decisions

We all know that ruling parties, presidents and Prime Ministers, have been abusing power and running away with it. This has been possible because the auras of people-power have been diminished. In parliamentary systems, prorogation of parliament, or in presidential systems, use of executive emergency orders, have all meant that the will of the people have been secondary. And to add salt to injury, courts had been, hitherto, justifying-chambers of the abuses of the politicians. It’s no wonder everyone did not expect the unanimous decision of the UKSC. Faith in the judiciary all over the world have been slowly eroding, because there has been very little distinction between political quirks and judicial activism. Each time a court rendered a divided decision on a matter that, in the judgement of society, ought to have been unanimous, it made politicians bold. Because, when they partially lost in court, they still argued that some judges stood with them in their abuses of office and authority. That’s why this decision is, ironically, landmark, because it refuses to side with the abuse of power, it decides to stand up for principle, the Rule of Law, and fundamentals of good governance. The decision says, “No-judge agrees with Boris Johnson, in part on or whole.” If there was even a single judge who dissented, Boris Johnson would stand on the world platform and declare that he had at least one ally in the UKSC. That’s how politicians have spun their undemocratic tendencies into placards of lame victory. But as far as the UKSC is concerned, the Prime Minister broke the law, and his decision to prorogue parliament is as if it never even happened!

3. Because even the Queen could be misled

Politicians mislead everybody, in the case of Boris Johnson, including the Queen of England. The UKSC ruled that the decision to advise the Queen to prorogue parliament was unlawful. The Queen had earlier consented to the prorogation of parliament. This is very informing – it means that, hitherto, even venerated offices such as that of the Queen of England, had been subservient to the whims of the ruling politicians. Indeed, we know that the regal bureau is only ceremonial. However, this, effectively, means that democracy had fallen prey to the Tyranny of the Majority and the inviolable power of one-man.

In conclusion, the world has a reason to celebrate this landmark, unanimous UK decision. This is because it’s a UK decision, the birther of the Magna Carta, and the land that bequeathed to Western political and legal cultures, their legal and political systems. At least in the interim, this decision curbs on political extremities of those who rule nations as if they have been given a license to abuse power and privileges.

By Charles Mwewa

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17 COMMENTS

  1. HH has been duping his UPND loyalists too. He needs to gather them in a Convention and tell them how he got rich and propose that, that Musonda woman should now become Vice President of UPND.

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    • @Charles Mwewa Uncle Tom….coon…your life evolves on praising bazungu and minding their business but they care less about you my dear friend…get rid of that inferiority complex of yours…write about Zambia dont think you will look smart and important when you spend time minding bazungu’s issues…..lets talk about Lungu and HH….and Lusaka Times please stop giving this clown Charles Mwewa platform…Charles Mwewa stop hero worshipping bazungu

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    • All Zambians in the Diaspora visit Lusaka Times to know whats happening back home in Zambia…..so stop this clown Mwewa with his nonsense articles

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    • Let me check out who is writing first… scrowwwwww down!
      Ok Ok Ok ni Ba Charles Mwewa.
      Are you telling me that Boris Johnson resigned already?
      I will read later bro.
      Listen, am attending Labor Party Conference live (on TV).

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    • Courts should and must always be available to inquire into the lawfulness of executive decisions. If that wasn’t so, the executive would clothe itself wth absolute power which would amount to dictatorship. This judgement sets a precedent which ,no doubt, will apply in Zambia. I uv seen the text of the judgment. It’s in plain English.

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    • Iam 1000 percent behind anonymous! I read just the headline and the first sentence and skipped the whole article.
      One time this Charles Mwewa was asking us to forgive racist acts by Canadian president Trudeau. Today he has the audacity to bring to our already crowded agenda someone he calls the queen as if all of us should know only one queen. Such an obsession with bazungu for an African is unhealthy. Look at yourself and find ways of improving your life as a muntu. We will never develop because we spend all our time admiring Europe instead of bettering Africa. Just look at the way we worship English football. If we worshipped African football with the same energy we would be able to fund our leagues to match the rest of the world and we would be on top of the football statistics.

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    • statistics such as best national team in the world, most followed leagues in the world, largest number of world cup winners continent with best football players in the world etc etc

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    • Charles Mwewa is NO uncle Tom. He has illustrated his comment wth Queen Elizabeth’s picture because the matter he is commenting on is from the UK. Zambian football is struggling because it is in an economy that is not doing well. English football is supported because of powerful marketing and has been around since 1886. Ideas don’t respect borders.

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  2. Politicians, world over, are crooks and liars. One cannot be a politician on the perspective of truth. Most politicians ascend to highest political apex by being liars. Without an element of deceit, no one can become a politicians. The language that resonates very well with the masses is a language of deception. Politicians are all cut from a cloth of deception. There is no shame at all for them to lie. The voters should take an inventory of all lies that politicians say before casting a vote for them. It has become a norm. For one to be a member of parliament or a president, one has to be a liar. The blame falls on electorates who become euphoric and excited by assembling crooks and thieves as leaders. A vote can decide a destiny of a nation if it is cast with decision attached to it.

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  3. I was there at the courts. This is what you call separation of powers working effectively in an advanced parliamentary democracy. Not that rubbish you have in Zambia. Right now I m analysing the ruling as part of a high level symposium for the school of law of ulca.

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  4. My neighbours white wife has just told me she loves me. This is a crazy day. What is wrong with some people. What should I do ?

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    • Sharon are you begging again? You poor soul. I am not your father go and ask your useless father for money

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  5. Firstly this is not Zambia, why are you letting this Mwelwa fellow post things with no bearing on Zambia. If in the future it does then share. Since it is already started let me educate my fellows here,Britain is still ruled by the queen. Even with the representative parliament. She makes the final decision to hire the prime minister. So you guys think they were going to make her look bad, no way. Ask yourselves, what happened to princess Diana? God gave us the most blessed continent Africa. It is we his saved and intelligent children to develop it.

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  6. I’m surprised that pipo can not see the connection of this ruling to a case here in Zambia involving LAZ and parliament. Bottom line is that u can not stop parliament from discharging their duties.

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  7. It seems commentators on subject are a bunch of Richard Craniums. No wonder we are where we are.

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