THE COUNTRYSIDE Alliance is to ask the House of Lords to consider the validity of the 1949 Parliament Act.
The appeal to the Lords will form the third stage of the alliance‘s claim that the Parliament Act 1949 is invalid following the Appeal Court‘s decision to uphold the Act on Wed (Feb 16).
The Appeal Court‘s judges accepted that the provisions of the Hunting Act are “highly controversial” and “bitterly opposed by substantial sections of the public”.
But the judges decided not to overturn the 1949 Parliament Act.
In their judgement however, they agreed with most of the key arguments put forward by the alliance‘s legal team.
The Attorney General, Lord Goldsmith, on behalf of the Government said that he supported the alliance‘s application for the case to be heard in the House of Lords.
The Courts also instructed the Attorney General not to ‘hide behind the courts‘ in rejecting the question of Interim Relief.
The Attorney General had earlier conceded that alliance‘s application had considerable merit.
The Courts also rejected the Attorney General‘s wish that the alliance should bear the government‘s costs.
“We will immediately petition the House of Lords to consider our case, and the Appeal Court ruling provides strong grounds for them to find in our favour,” said Simon Hart, alliance chief executive.
“The court felt uneasy about overturning an Act of Parliament that has been accepted for 55 years even though there were question marks over its validity.
“If an Act of Parliament is incorrectly enacted, then it is invalid, irrespective of whether it was passed yesterday, last week, last year or 55 years ago.
“We are confident in the strength of this challenge as well as the very important challenge to the legislation on human rights grounds,” said Mr Hart.
The RSPCA welcomed the Appeal Court‘s decision saying it emphasised that the alliance‘s arguments were “wafer thin”.