Friday, July 14, 2006

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

Press Release:Immediate

Metric Martyrs Defence Fund14th July 2006

High Court 'Parking Ticket Judgment' could create a tax windfall for businesses... Justice Collins decision in the High Court could lead to a 'fine mess' for the Inland Revenue

High Court Judgment Set to Cost the Inland Revenue Millions Mr Justice Collins decided last week that parking tickets are not fines but 'civil responsibilities' and this judgment means that businesses can claim that all such 'responsibilities' as allowable expenses. because they are no longer considered to be fines.

Businesses all over the country are consulting their tax specialists and there appears to be a majority opinion that the decision of Justice Collins will now cost the Inland Revenue millions of pounds, because businesses can now offset their parking 'responsibilities' against taxes due to be paid.

The High Court case was brought on 5th July 2006 by Robin Decrittenden in an application to strike down decriminalised parking fines because there is conflict with the constitutional provisions enshrined in the Bill of Rights...which says that no-one can be fined except by a court. Decriminalised Parking does not allow access to a court and deCrittenden argues that this is unconstitutional. The Bill of Rights was confirmed in the Metric Martyrs High Court Judgment in 2002 as being a constitutional statute of major importance (see 7 below)

However, what was witnessed in the High Court last week was worthy of Humpty Dumpty but not very worthy of a High Court Judge. Read the Sunday Telegraph report of the case here

The crux of Justice Collin's decision was that parking tickets are not fines but 'civil responsibilities.' Judge Collins stated that the Adjudicators and Local Authorities could now 'breathe a collective sigh of relief' as Decrittenden's case was 'without merit.'This decision has now opened up a massive can of worms for the Inland Revenue and has created a huge embarrassment for the Government - Perhaps the adjudicators and the local authorities should be prepared to hold their collective breath a little longer.

This is because the Inland Revenue site states:NIM05630 - Class 1 NICs : Expenses and allowances : Car parking fines "Fines for illegal parking are not allowable business expenses. Any payment which an employer makes towards the cost of fines incurred by an employee, and for which they are liable, should be included in gross pay for Class 1 NICs purposes."

The Government's own website, DirectGov gives advice on 'Paying and Appealing Parking Fines' with links to, and therefore implicating, EVERY local authority.Robin de Crittenden is a most unlikely and very unwilling Knight on a White Horse for the Cause of the Inland Revenue or the Government...but nonetheless, he is looking forward to a seat in the House of Lords as his reward for doing battle with Judge Humpty Dumpty. An appeal against Judge Collins' decision was lodged at the Court of Appeal yesterday.

If the Court of Appeal overturns the Collins decision and confirms the position now being taken by Robin De Crittenden; the Government and the Inland Revenue's - that parking tickets are fines - then we are back to the position that the Bill of Rights forbids all fines or forfeitures without conviction...

AND...if that is the case then Decriminalised Parking falls and a £1.2 billion a year 'Parking Industry' falls with it.

ENDS:Contact:Neil Herron(Campaign Director)Metric Martyrs Defence Fund12 Frederick StreetSunderlandSR1 1NATel. 0191 565 7143 Mob. 07776 202045Website: http://www.metricmartyrs.co.uk/ e-mail: metricmartyrs@btconnect.com

Notes for Editors:
1. 'Parking Fine Mess' case now set for the Court of Appeal...Judge Humpty Dumpty's decision to be challenged.

2. Read the application for Judicial Review submission by Robin Decrittenden here

3. Recent Metric Martyrs News:- German Bar in Glasgow faces prosecution for selling beer by the litre ... Metric Martyrs Campaign called to assist. Read the news reports here- Devon Market Trader faces prosecution for selling 46p worth of onions on imperial scales ... Metric Martyrs Campaign called to assist. Read the news reports here

4. House of Commons Transport Committee's Parking Report here

5. BBC Reports Robin Decrittenden's Bill of Rights case news here

6. News reports of Steve Thoburn's scale seizures here

7. Thoburn v Sunderland City Council [2002] EWHC 195 (Admin), [2003] QB 151 ("Metric Martyrs" ruling) 18 Feb 2002 [Extract]

62 Where does this leave the constitutional position which I have stated? Mr Shrimpton would say that Factortame (No 1) was wrongly decided; and since the point was not argued, there is scope, within the limits of our law of precedent, to depart from it and to hold that implied repeal may bite on the ECA as readily as upon any other statute. I think that would be a wrong turning. My reasons are these. In the present state of its maturity the common law has come to recognise that there exist rights which should properly be classified as constitutional or fundamental: see for example such cases as Simms [2000] 2 AC 115 per Lord Hoffmann at 131, Pierson v Secretary of State [1998] AC 539, Leech [1994] QB 198, Derbyshire County Council v Times Newspapers Ltd. [1993] AC 534, and Witham [1998] QB 575. And from this a further insight follows. We should recognise a hierarchy of Acts of Parliament: as it were "ordinary" statutes and "constitutional" statutes. The two categories must be distinguished on a principled basis. In my opinion a constitutional statute is one which (a) conditions the legal relationship between citizen and State in some general, overarching manner, or (b) enlarges or diminishes the scope of what we would now regard as fundamental constitutional rights. (a) and (b) are of necessity closely related: it is difficult to think of an instance of (a) that is not also an instance of (b). The special status of constitutional statutes follows the special status of constitutional rights. Examples are the Magna Carta, the Bill of Rights 1689, the Act of Union, the Reform Acts which distributed and enlarged the franchise, the HRA, the Scotland Act 1998 and the Government of Wales Act 1998. The ECA clearly belongs in this family. It incorporated the whole corpus of substantive Community rights and obligations, and gave overriding domestic effect to the judicial and administrative machinery of Community law. It may be there has never been a statute having such profound effects on so many dimensions of our daily lives. The ECA is, by force of the common law, a constitutional statute.

63 Ordinary statutes may be impliedly repealed. Constitutional statutes may not. For the repeal of a constitutional Act or the abrogation of a fundamental right to be effected by statute, the court would apply this test: is it shown that the legislature's actual – not imputed, constructive or presumed – intention was to effect the repeal or abrogation? I think the test could only be met by express words in the later statute, or by words so specific that the inference of an actual determination to effect the result contended for was irresistible. The ordinary rule of implied repeal does not satisfy this test. Accordingly, it has no application to constitutional statutes. I should add that in my judgment general words could not be supplemented, so as to effect a repeal or significant amendment to a constitutional statute, by reference to what was said in Parliament by the minister promoting the Bill pursuant to Pepper v Hart [1993] AC 593. A constitutional statute can only be repealed, or amended in a way which significantly affects its provisions touching fundamental rights or otherwise the relation between citizen and State, by unambiguous words on the face of the later statute. 64 This development of the common law regarding constitutional rights, and as I would say constitutional statutes, is highly beneficial. It gives us most of the benefits of a written constitution, in which fundamental rights are accorded special respect. But it preserves the sovereignty of the legislature and the flexibility of our uncodified constitution. It accepts the relation between legislative supremacy and fundamental rights is not fixed or brittle: rather the courts (in interpreting statutes, and now, applying the HRA) will pay more or less deference to the legislature, or other public decision-maker, according to the subject in hand. Nothing is plainer than that this benign development involves, as I have said, the recognition of the ECA as a constitutional statute.


Post a Comment

<< Home

Listed on BlogShares