A LEGAL EXPERT has said if the Countryside Alliance challenges MPs‘ use of the Parliament Act to force through a Hunting Bill then the results could be ‘explosive‘.

Dan Tench, head of public law at Olswang, has written in The Times that if it can be proved that the 1949 Parliament Act is not valid then there will be big implications.

“Not only would the hunting Act be rendered invalid, but other legislation that has been passed using the provisions of the 1949 Act, such as the War Crimes Act 1991 and the Sexual Offences Amendment Act would also surely become void.”

The CA has already announced Sir Sydney Kentridge QC as its lawyer to challenge the legality of any Bill passed under the Parliament Act 1949.

The first Parliament Act, passed in 1911, stated that should a Bill be passed by the Commons but rejected by the Lords it would still become law provided it was presented to the Lords in three successive parliamentary sessions.

This Act was passed by both the Commons and Lords.

But in 1949 the Labour government of the day decided to amend the Act so as to require only two presentations of an Act to the Lords before it would become law.

This amendment was never passed by the Lords.

It became law as it was presented to the Lords in three successive parliamentary sessions, as required by the 1911 Act.

But there is a principle of English law that states that a body can not use a power delegated to it to expand the extent of that power, reports the paper.

It will be this principle of English law that the CA will invest the future of hunting with dogs.

The House of Commons is due to receive the amended bill on Mon 15 Nov. It will be reviewed by MPs on a single day between Nov 16 – 18.