The Supreme Court next week hears the Government”s appeal against the High Court”s decision that Theresa May needs a vote in Parliament before she can start formal talks with the European Union by invoking Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty.
The High Court ruling against the Government was made by three senior judges.
Next week in a first for the Supreme Court, all 11 of its justices will hear the case.
Michael Zander QC, Professor Emeritus of Law at the London School of Economics, told legal magazine Counsel: “I would be surprised if the Attorney General and his team of supporting QCs and other lawyers have given ministers reason to hope that there was any great hope of the (High Court”s) unanimous and very strong decision being reversed.
“In my view, the Government could be looking at losing 11-0.”
The Supreme Court is expected to publish its ruling in the New Year.
Mrs May insists she has a strong case and notes that the Government won a similar Article 50 case brought by campaigners in Northern Ireland.
The High Court judgement against the Government saw widespread fury directed at the three judges.
Bar Chairman Chantal-Aimee Doerries QC told Counsel magazine she had been “surprised” to read some of the more hostile headlines about the case.
After criticism of Justice Secretary and Lord Chancellor Liz Truss for failing to spring more quickly to the judges” defence, Mrs Doerries added: “The judges do not need (barristers) to defend them – they will do their job in accordance with the oath they have taken…
“But the judiciary and our justice system do need people to speak out publicly in their support…
“It is not about this particular judgment. It is about the value and respect we as a society place on the justice system. Without this, much of the benefit of an independent, transparent justice system is lost.”
Earlier this week at an event in London former Conservative Party leader Lord (Michael) Howard slated judges for making a “grab for power” by involving themselves in parliamentary decision-making.
He advised judges that “if you can”t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen” if they were upset by media criticism.
Lord Howard did not think the High Court over-reached its powers by ruling against the Government on Article 50 but he complained: “What we have seen in recent years is best, if rather crudely, described as a judicial grab for power.
“It would be monstrous if in those circumstances, robust criticism were to be curtailed in any way, shape or form.”