High court challenge to Hunting Act begins

THE COUNTRYSIDE Alliance has begun its latest challenge to the Hunting Act with a High Court challenge under the Human Rights Act. 

The case will seek to establish that, in passing the Hunting Act, Parliament contravened four sections of the European Convention on Human Rights.

If the court agrees with the pro-hunt lobby that the four sections have been breached, the alliance’s legal team has advised repealing the Act would be the only course of action left.

If instead the court finds that one of the four sections of the Human Rights Act has been breached, it may still pave the way for compensation to be paid for those adversely affected by the hunting ban.

Alliance chief executive Simon Hart said the organisation had come to the courts to protect the rights of minorities in place of government.

“A mature democracy such as ours should safeguard the rights of minorities.

“It is a sad state of affairs when the government allows discrimination, prejudice and political expediency to come before principle, evidence and decency, as it has done in forcing through the Hunting Act,” said Mr Hart.

“The government chose to ignore the warning of Westminster’s own joint committee on Human Rights that the Hunting Act infringed European law and it must now face the consequences in court,” he added.

The action is due to conclude on Friday, July 8.