Regina 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 powers under the 1911 Act to amend themselves. If the 1949 Act was invalid then the 2004 Act, passed under its provisions, also fell.
Held: It was permissible to refer to parliamentary debates at the time. These demonstrated that it was understood that the 1911 Act could be used to amend itself so as to reduce the time required. The court had jurisdiction to hear the case. The authorities examined did not establish a principle that constitutions may not be appropriately amended without an express power. ‘A sovereign legislature, uncontrolled by antecedent written constitutional instrument, may alter its own legislative powers and procedures by legislation duly enacted in accordance with its embedded procedures. The resulting amended constitution is controlled to the extent provided by the legislation. Thereafter, further constitutional alterations may be validly enacted under and by means of the altered powers and procedures. Such alterations may include alterations to the powers and procedures prescribed by the first legislation. This is, however, all subject to the proviso that the making of these subsequent alterations is within the power afforded by the first legislation properly understood, and provided that they are duly enacted in accordance with its procedures. ‘ and ‘Having regard to the unusual nature of the 1911 Act, this is not a question to be resolved on the basis of the wording of the Act alone, without considering the circumstances in which it was passed and what was said in the course of debating its provisions. Furthermore, as we have said and for reasons that we shall explain, it is relevant when considering the effect of the 1911 Act to consider not merely parliamentary material in relation to its enactment, but the subsequent understanding of Parliament as to the nature of the constitutional change effected by the 1911 Act. ‘ ‘There was power to amend the 1911 Act to the extent of the amendment contained in the 1949 Act. . . . Once the 1911 Act had made the fundamental change of allowing the consent of the House of Lords to be dispensed with as long as the conditions in s.2(1) of the 1911 Act were complied with, the reduction of the period referred to in s.2(1) in its original form to those contained in the 1949 Act, was a relatively modest and straightforward amendment. ‘


Lord Justice May Lord Phillips Master Of The Rolls The Lord Chief Justice Of England And Wales (The Lord Woolf Of Barnes)


[2005] EWCA Civ 126, Times 17-Feb-2005




Hunting Act 2004, Parliament Act 1949, Parliament Act 1911


England and Wales


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, . .
Appeal fromJackson 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 . .
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 . .
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 . .
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 . .
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 . .
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 . .
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 . .
CitedRobinson v Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and Others HL 25-Jul-2002
The Northern Ireland Parliament had elected its first minister and deputy more than six weeks after the election, but the Act required the election to be within that time. It was argued that as a creature of statute, the Parliament could not act . .
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 . .
CitedCape 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 . .
CitedKirkness 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 . .

Cited by:

CitedCountryside Alliance and others v HM Attorney General and others Admn 29-Jul-2005
The various claimants sought to challenge the 2004 Act by way of judicial review on the grounds that it was ‘a disproportionate, unnecessary and illegitimate interference with their rights to choose how they conduct their lives, and with market . .
Appeal fromJackson 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.222709