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Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Feel free to copy, there is no copyright on an Anoneumouse montage. (click on image to enlarge)

Hunting for MEP's

The Countryside Alliance challenge to the Hunting Bill today, if successful, could make the European Parliamentary Ellection Act 1999 illegal too.

The 1911 Parliament Act was introduced to cut the powers of the Lords. They were no longer allowed to prevent the passage of 'money bills' The legal status of the Parliament Act, 1949, is questionable with regard to forcing through the Fox Hunting Bill, Some respected constitutional lawyers believe that it is not valid. It purports to enable legislation to be enacted after a year despite the opposition of The House of Lords. But, as Professor Hood Phillips pointed out over 50 years ago, the Act cannot be valid because it was rejected by the House of Lords and no power of amendment was conferred on the House of Commons by the Parliament Act, 1911.

Indeed the Parliament Act 1911 offers no authority to the House of Commons to amend primary legislation at all. And if the Parliament Act 1949 is invalid, so must be much European-led legislation, including most recently the European Parliamentary Election Act,1999. If the Government did use the Parliament Acts to force through this Bill they might come unstuck.

Here I must get down to technicalities. The Parliament Acts consist of the original Act of 1911 and the amending Act of 1949. The former Act said that, in relation to a Bill introduced into the Commons, that House would prevail against Lords disagreement, and the Bill would become law, if it were passed three times by the Commons. The 1949 Act substituted two times. At the time the Lords disagreed with this change, so the 1911 Act in its unamended form was used to effect it Accepting a literal construction, the 1911 Act permitted the 1949 amendment, but in constitutional law "a literal construction of a statute may well be rejected, if to accept it would conflict with the statute's purpose".

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