THE COUNTRYSIDE Alliance has lost its High Court challenge to the legality of the Parliament Act 1949.

In Nov 2004 the speaker of the House of Commons invoked the Parliament Act to push through the Hunting Act which had been blocked on two occasions by the House of Lords.

But the Alliance claimed, through their lawyer Sir Sydney Kentridge QC, that the Parliament Act 1949 was not a valid act of Parliament and that as a consequence the Hunting Act was also not a valid Act.

Speaking outside the High Court on Fri (Jan 28) Simon Hart, chief executive of the Countryside Alliance said: “We have always expected that this case would eventually be heard in the House of Lords.

“It is a hugely significant constitutional case and consequently a difficult decision for the divisional courts to make. We remain confident in the merits of our case.

“The Court of Appeal will now hear this case before the Hunting Act comes into force on Feb 18.

“The Judges accepted that we had a legitimate case and that the Court has the power to overturn the Act, although on this occasion the Judges disagreed with the legal points made, so today‘s judgement suggests that we have strong grounds for appeal.

“If, however, the Court of Appeal is not prepared to uphold our case we will seek leave to appeal to the House of Lords.