Tuck and Sons v Priester: 1887

A person should not be penalised except under a clear law: ‘If there is a reasonable interpretation which will avoid the penalty in any particular case, we must adopt that construction. If there are two reasonable constructions we must give the more lenient one. That is the settled rule for the construction of penal sections.’


Lord Esher, MR, Lindley J


(1887) 19 QBD 629

Cited by:

CitedAtkins v Director of Public Prosecutions; Goodland v Director of Public Prosecutions Admn 8-Mar-2000
For possession of an indecent image of a child to be proved, it was necessary to establish some knowledge of its existence. Images stored without the defendant’s knowledge by browser software in a hidden cache, of which he was also unaware, were not . .
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 . .
CitedBogdanic v The Secretary of State for The Home Department QBD 29-Aug-2014
The claimant challenged fines imposed on him after three illegal immigrants were found to have hidden in his lorry in the immigration control zone at Dunkirk. The 1999 At was to have been amended by the 2002 Act, and the implementation was by the . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Criminal Practice, Constitutional

Updated: 30 April 2022; Ref: scu.199231