Kirkness v John Hudson and Co Ltd: HL 1955

Viscount Simonds said: ‘the beliefs or assumptions of those who frame Acts of Parliament cannot make the law’. While subsequent legislation could resolve ambiguity in earlier legislation, it could only do so where the subject of the subsequent litigation was the same as the earlier Act.


Viscount Simonds


[1955] AC 696, [1955] 2 WLR 1135, [1955] 2 All ER 345, HL(E ), [1955] UKHL TC – 36 – 28




England and Wales


ApprovedCape Brandy Syndicate v Inland Revenue Commissioners CA 1921
Rowlatt J said: ‘In a taxing Act one has to look merely at what is clearly said. There is no room for any intendment. There is no equity about a tax. There is no presumption as to a tax. Nothing is to be read in, nothing is to be implied’ and . .

Cited by:

CitedBBC Enterprises Ltd v Hi-Tech Xtravision Ltd and Others CA 21-Dec-1989
The plaintiff sold television entertainment through subscriptions. The broadcasts were protected by encryption. The defendant sold equipment which could unscramble the broadcasts. They were sued under the section. At first instance, the claim was . .
CitedHighland Council (Formerly Ross and Cromarty District Council) v Patience and Others (Scotland) HL 14-Nov-1996
Local Authority tenants sought to exercise their statutory right to purchase their council house. The third defendant had registered against the title a right of pre-emption protecting a feu charter registered in the Registry of Sasines.
Held: . .
CitedPritchard v Briggs CA 1980
A conveyance of part in 1944 gave a right of pre-emption over retained land. The vendor’s successors the let the retained land to the plaintiff with an option to buy the freehold reversion. The retained land was sold to the defendants in purported . .
CitedBettison and others v Langton and others HL 17-May-2001
A right to pasture animals on a common had been levant and couchant, and as such was inalienable as a separate asset from the land where the animals were kept. The right was registered under the Act, and was thereby transformed into a right to graze . .
CitedRegina 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 . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Updated: 16 June 2022; Ref: scu.180041