Jackson 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 Commons to bring into law an Act which had not been approved by the House of Lords. The Speaker of the House of Commons had certified that the Hunting Act had been passed in accordance with those procedures.
Held: Acts brought in by virtue of the 1911 Act were not a species of subordinate legislation, and therefore the 1949 Act which extended those powers was itself fully effective, and so in turn was the 2004 Act. The AG argued that the 1911 Act could be used to pass any Act, however the House was ‘not prepared to give such a ruling as would sanction in advance the use of the 1911 Act for all purposes, for example to abolish the House of Lords, (rather than, say, alter its constitution or method of selection) or to prolong the life of Parliament, two of the extreme ends to which theoretically this procedure could be put . . the strict logic of the respondent’s position suggests that the express bar on the House of Commons alone extending the life of Parliament could be overcome by a two-stage use of the 1911 Act procedure, [but] the Attorney General acknowledged in argument that the contrary view might have to be preferred. Let us hope that these issues will never be put to the test. But if they are, they will certainly deserve fuller argument than time has allowed on the present appeal.’
Lord Steyn said: ‘The word ‘Parliament’ involves both static and dynamic concepts. The static concept refers to the constituent elements which make up Parliament: the House of Commons, the House of Lords, and the Monarch. The dynamic concept involves the constituent elements functioning together as a law making body. The inquiry is: has Parliament spoken? The law and custom of Parliament regulates what the constituent elements must do to legislate: all three must signify consent to the measure. But, apart from the traditional method of law making, Parliament acting as ordinarily constituted may functionally redistribute legislative power in different ways. For example, Parliament could for specific purposes provide for a two-thirds majority in the House of Commons and the House of Lords. This would involve a redefinition of Parliament for a specific purpose. Such redefinition could not be disregarded.’
Lord Hope: ‘Our constitution is dominated by the sovereignty of Parliament. But Parliamentary sovereignty is no longer, if it ever was, absolute. It is not uncontrolled in the sense referred to by Lord Birkenhead LC in McCawley v The King. It is no longer right to say that its freedom to legislate admits of no qualification whatever. Step by step, gradually but surely, the English principle of the absolute legislative sovereignty of Parliament which Dicey derived from Coke and Blackstone is being qualified.’

Lord Bingham of Cornhill, Lord Nicholls of Birkenhead, Lord Steyn, Lord Hope of Craighead, Lord Rodger of Earlsferry, Lord Walker of Gestingthorpe, Baroness Hale of Richmond, Lord Carswell, Lord Brown of Eaton-under-Heywood
[2005] UKHL 56, Times 14-Oct-2005, [2006] 1 AC 262, [2005] 2 WLR 87, [2005] 4 All ER 1253, [2006] AC 262
House of Lords, Bailii
Parliament Act 1911, Parliament Act 1949, Hunting Act 2004
England and Wales
At First instanceJackson 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 . .
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 . .
CitedStradling v Morgan 1560
There is a wide common sense principle of the construction of statutes by which courts will imply qualifications into the literal meaning of wide and general words in order to prevent them from having some unreasonable consequence which it is . .
CitedRegina v Central Valuation Officer and another ex parte Edison First Power Limited HL 10-Apr-2003
Powergen sold a property to Edison. Powergen had paid rates under a separate statutory rating regime, and paid an additional thirteen million pounds under an apportionment. Edison later complained that in being rated itself, the authorities had . .
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: . .
CitedEdinburgh and Dalkeith Railway Company v Wauchope HL 22-Mar-1842
The company had, under authority of a private statute, built a railway which passed across land belonging to the defendant. They were to pay a sum for the goods carried. At first they sought to collect a toll, but his proved unprofitable. The . .
CitedWilson v Secretary of State for Trade and Industry; Wilson v First County Trust Ltd (No 2) HL 10-Jul-2003
The respondent appealed against a finding that the provision which made a loan agreement completely invalid for lack of compliance with the 1974 Act was itself invalid under the Human Rights Act since it deprived the respondent of its property . .
CitedRegina v Special Commissioner And Another, ex parte Morgan Grenfell and Co Ltd HL 16-May-2002
The inspector issued a notice requiring production of certain documents. The respondents refused to produce them, saying that they were protected by legal professional privilege.
Held: Legal professional privilege is a fundamental part of . .
CitedRegina v Secretary of State for The Home Department Ex Parte Simms HL 8-Jul-1999
Ban on Prisoners talking to Journalists unlawful
The two prisoners, serving life sentences for murder, had had their appeals rejected. They continued to protest innocence, and sought to bring their campaigns to public attention through the press, having oral interviews with journalists without . .
CitedRegina v Secretary of State for the Home Department, Ex Parte Pierson HL 24-Jul-1997
The Home Secretary may not later extend the tariff for a lifer, after it had been set by an earlier Home Secretary, merely to satisfy needs of retribution and deterrence: ‘A power conferred by Parliament in general terms is not to be taken to . .
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 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 . .
CitedTaylor v Attorney General of Queensland 29-Jun-1917
(High Court of Australia) The 1908 Act provided that, when a bill passed by the Legislative Assembly in two successive sessions had in the same two sessions been rejected by the Legislative Council, it might be submitted by referendum to the . .
CitedClayton v Heffron 15-Dec-1960
(High Court of Australia) An Act was proposed to be introduced by the legislature to amend the constitution of New South Wales by abolishing the Legislative Council. There would be required first a vote in favour of that in a referendum. The . .
CitedMinister of the Interior v Harris 1952
(South Africa) A provision entrenched the right of Cape Coloured voters to be on the same voters roll as white voters. The entrenchment was achieved by sections 63 and the proviso to section 152 of the South Africa Act providing that the voting . .
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 . .
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, . .
CitedRegina v Z (Attorney General for Northern Ireland’s Reference) HL 19-May-2005
The defendants appealed their convictions for being members of proscribed organisations. They were members of the ‘Real IRA’, but only the IRA was actually proscribed.
Held: The appeals failed. In construing an Act of Parliament it may be of . .
CitedPringle, Petitioner 1991
A case was brought to challenge legislation which introduced the community charge in Scotland before it was introduced in England.
Held: The First Division of the Court of Session reserved its position on the effect of the Treaty of Union. . .
CitedRegina v Secretary of State for Transport, ex parte Factortame (No 2) HL 11-Oct-1990
The validity of certain United Kingdom legislation was challenged on the basis that it contravened provisions of the EEC Treaty by depriving the applicants of their Community rights to fish in European waters, and an interlocutory injunction was . .
CitedRex v Countess of Arundel 1617
As regards a Bill in Parliament, the pronouncement of the words enacting it ‘carry its death’s wound in itself.’ . .
CitedGibson v Lord Advocate 1975
Lord Keith reserved his opinion on whether provisions in the Acts of Union of 1707 and legislation purporting to abolish the Church of Scotland were justiciable: ‘The making of decisions upon what must essentially be a political matter is no part of . .
CitedWest Midland Baptist (Trust) Association (Inc) v Birmingham Corporation HL 1970
The mere fact that an enactment shows that Parliament must have thought that the law was one thing, does not preclude the courts from deciding that the law was in fact something different. The position would be different if the provisions of the . .
CitedPowell v Apollo Candle Co Ltd PC 1885
The Board declared firmly that the earlier decisions had put an end to the doctrine that a colonial legislature is a delegate of the Imperial legislature. . .
CitedMadzimbamuto v Lardner-Burke PC 23-Jul-1968
(Southern Rhodesia) The Board considered a submission that legal effect should be given to a convention that the UK Parliament would not legislate without the consent of the government of Southern Rhodesia on matters within the competence of the . .
CitedMacCormick v Lord Advocate SCS 30-Jul-1953
LP Cooper reserved his opinion on the question whether the provisions in article XIX of the Treaty of Union which purport to preserve the Court of Session and the laws relating to private right which are administered in Scotland are fundamental law . .
CitedInland Revenue Commissioners v Dowdall, O’Mahoney and Co Ltd HL 1952
A court is not prevented from interpreting the common law by an Act of parliament being based upon a different view. . .
CitedViscountess Rhondda’s Claim HL 1922
(Committee of Privileges of the House of Lords) Viscountess Rhondda asserted a right to sit in the House of Lords as a member, relying on the 1919 Act.
Held: It is incorrect for a court to draw conclusions from such elements of the . .

Cited by:
CitedHarding v Wealands HL 5-Jul-2006
Claim in UK for Accident in Australia
The claimant had been a passenger in a car driven by his now partner. They had an accident in New South Wales. The car was insured in Australia. He sought leave to sue in England and Wales because Australian law would limit the damages.
Held: . .
CitedForbes v Secretary of State for the Home Department CA 11-Jul-2006
The defendant had been placed on the sex offenders’ register on conviction for fraudulent evasion of prohibitions on importing goods, by importing indecent photographs of children. He had maintained that he had not known of the exact nature of the . .
CitedCorner House Research and Campaign Against Arms Trade, Regina (on the Application of) v Director of the Serious Fraud Office and Another Admn 10-Apr-2008
The defendant had had responsibility to investigate and if necessary prosecute a company suspected of serious offences of bribery and corruption in the conduct of contract negotiations. The investigation had been stopped, alledgedly at the . .
CitedJTB, Regina v HL 29-Apr-2009
The defendant appealed against his convictions for sexual assaults. He was aged twelve at the time of the offences, but had been prevented from arguing that he had not known that what he was doing was wrong. The House was asked whether the effect of . .
CitedAXA General Insurance Ltd and Others v Lord Advocate and Others SC 12-Oct-2011
Standing to Claim under A1P1 ECHR
The appellants had written employers’ liability insurance policies. They appealed against rejection of their challenge to the 2009 Act which provided that asymptomatic pleural plaques, pleural thickening and asbestosis should constitute actionable . .
CitedEvans and Another, Regina (on The Application of) v Attorney General SC 26-Mar-2015
The Attorney General appealed against a decision for the release under the Act and Regulations of letters from HRH The Prince of Wales to various ministers and government departments.
Held: The appeal failed (Majority). The A-G had not been . .
CitedMiller and Dos Santos v The Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union and Others QBD 13-Nov-2016
Article 50 Notice Requires Parliament’s Authority
The applicant challenged a decision by the respondent that he could use Crown prerogative powers to issue a notice under section 50 TUE to initiate the United Kingdom leaving the EU following the referendum under the 2015 Act.
Held: Once the . .
CitedMiller, Regina (On the Application Of) v The Prime Minister QBD 11-Sep-2019
Prorogation request was non-justiciable
The claimant sought to challenge the prorogation of Parliament by the Queen at the request of the respondent.
Held: The claim failed: ‘the decision of the Prime Minister to advise Her Majesty the Queen to prorogue Parliament is not justiciable . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Leading Case

Updated: 31 December 2021; Ref: scu.231107

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