Lords reject latest hunt appeal

  • The law lords rejected the appeal brought by the Countryside Alliance (CA) challenging the validity of the 1949 Parliament Act this morning.

    In a long and detailed judgement, the House of Lords rejected all parts of the appeal. CA Chief Executive Simon Hart described the outcome as “predictable”.

    “A few interesting things came out of it,” said Hart, “but it will not affect hunting. Hunt meets will go ahead as planned.”

    The challenge had been brought in the names of CA Chairman John Jackson, Mair Hughes, a blacksmith’s wife from Glamorgan and Patrick Martin, Huntsman of the Oxfordshire-based Bicester with Whaddon Chase Hunt.

    The CA’s legal team, led by Sir Sydney Kentridge OC, appealed against the invalidity of the 1949 Parliament Act, used to force the Hunting Act onto the statute book against the will of the House of Lords last November. But the argument that the Parliament Act is invalid because of the way in which it came into being failed to sway the law lords.

    John Jackson, Countryside Alliance Chariman said: “It is obviously a great pity that the law lords did not find in our favour, for technical reasons.”

    Mr Jackson also expressed his fears regarding the House of Commons’ ability to change the structure and working of British constitution without consent from the House of Lords. “There must now be concern that out parliamentary system provides no adequate check on the House of Commons, which itself has doubtful legal legitimacy,” he said.

    But both Mr Jackson and Mr Hart are adamant that the fight will continue. “This is just one strand of our fight to over turn the Hunting Act,” said Mr Jackson. “Every hunt around the country is continuing to meet and use a variety of methods to hunt within the law in defiance of the ban.”

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