Jackson and Others, Regina (on the Application of) v Her Majesty’s Attorney General: Admn 28 Jan 2005

The 2004 Act had been passed without the approval of the House of Lords and under the provisions of the 1911 Act as amended by the 1949 Act. The 1949 Act had used the provisions of the 1911 Act to amend the 1911 Act. The claimant said this meant that the 1949 Act was void, and that anything passed by its means was also void. This would include the 2004 Act. The 1949 Act was delegated legislation, and it was not in the power of the delegatee (the Commons) to amend the power it had been given.
Held: The sovereignty of Parliament is derived form several sources, and lastly the power emanates from a subordinate legislature which, in the absence of an express power, cannot modify or amend the conditions upon which its power to legislate was granted. The 1911 Act changed the balance between the Houses of Parliament. The words of the 1911 Act explicitly allowed it to be used to pass any public Bill, with listed exclusions. Allowing the Preamble to the 1911 Act as an aid to construction did not assist the clamants. ‘the label of delegated legislation is inapposite. . . . the 1911 Act is a special case which arose in a specific context which bore little or no resemblance to delegated legislation as that concept is generally understood. The purpose of the 1911 Act was to change the relationship between the House of Commons and the House of Lords in the process of enacting legislation ‘ and ‘In my judgment, the correct way to describe the 1911 Act is as a statute which redefined or remodelled the legislature in such a way that there were thenceforth two routes through which Acts of Parliament could be enacted – the traditional way involving the Sovereign, the House of Commons and the House of Lords and the 1911 Act way emanating from the Sovereign and the House of Commons provided that the conditions imposed by the 1911 Act are met.’
As to the third argument ‘there is no established principle applicable to this case which denies a power of amendment of the earlier statute in the absence of the express conferral of one specifically dealing with amendment. What is important is the language of the earlier statute. I do not doubt that it is sufficient to permit amendment in the manner that was achieved by the 1949 Act.’


Collins J, Kay LJ


[2005] EWHC 94 (Admin), Times 31-Jan-2005




Hunting Act 2004, Parliament Act 1911, Parliament Act 1949


England and Wales


CitedThe Queen v Burah PC 5-Jun-1978
The Board was asked whether Act No. XXII of 1869 of the Indian Legislature was inconsistent with the Indian High Courts Act (24 and 25 Vict. c. 104) or with the Charter of the High Court, or whether it was within the legislative power of the . .
CitedThe Prince’s Case ChD 11-Jan-1606
Parliamentary Roll is Conclusive
A document on the Parliamentary Roll is conclusive as to its validity as an Act if it shows on its face that everything has been done which the common law of the United Kingdom has prescribed for the making of an Act of Parliament – that the Queen, . .
CitedAttorney-General v Prince Earnest Augustus of Hanover HL 1957
‘legislative antecedents’ may in some circumstances constitute relevant background for the interpretation of statutes in pari materia. Words in a preamble cannot of themselves restrict the scope of enacting words, where the latter are wider or more . .
CitedMcCawley v The King PC 8-Mar-1920
The Board was asked whether a Queensland statute authorising the Governor in Council to appoint a judge of the Court of Industrial Arbitration to hold office for seven years, was in fatal conflict with a provision of the 1859 Order in Council and a . .
CitedPepper (Inspector of Taxes) v Hart HL 26-Nov-1992
Reference to Parliamentary Papers behind Statute
The inspector sought to tax the benefits in kind received by teachers at a private school in having their children educated at the school for free. Having agreed this was a taxable emolument, it was argued as to whether the taxable benefit was the . .
CitedRegina v Secretary of State for the Environment Transport and the Regions and another, ex parte Spath Holme Limited HL 7-Dec-2000
The section in the 1985 Act created a power to prevent rent increases for tenancies of dwelling-houses for purposes including the alleviation of perceived hardship. Accordingly the Secretary of State could issue regulations whose effect was to limit . .
CitedThe Bribery Commissioner v Ranasinghe PC 5-May-1964
S.29 of the Ceylon (Constitution) Order in Council 1946 gave the Ceylon Parliament power to make laws for the peace, order and good government of the island. S.29(4) gave it the power to ‘amend or repeal any of the provisions of this Order’; but . .
CitedThoburn v Sunderland City Council etc Admn 18-Feb-2002
Various shopkeepers appealed convictions for breach of regulations requiring food sold by weight to be described in metric amounts. They claimed that the Regulations made under the 1985 Act, to the extent that they were inconsistent with it . .
CitedPickin v British Railways Board HL 30-Jan-1974
Courts Not to Investigate Parliament’s Actions
It was alleged that the respondent had misled Parliament to secure the passing of a private Act. The claimant said that the land taken from him under the Act was no longer required, and that he should be entitled to have it returned.
Held: . .

Cited by:

Appeal fromRegina on the Application of Jackson and others v HM Attorney General CA 16-Feb-2005
The applicant asserted that the 2004 Act was invalid having been passed under the procedure in the 1949 Act, reducing the period by which the House of Lords could delay legislation; the 1949 Act was invalid, being delegated legislation, had used the . .
At First instanceJackson and others v Attorney General HL 13-Oct-2005
The applicant sought to challenge the 2004 Hunting Act, saying that it had been passed under the provisions of the 1949 Parliament Act which was itself an unlawful extension of the powers given by the 1911 Parliament Act to allow the House of . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Updated: 29 June 2022; Ref: scu.222722