Friday, February 18, 2005

Fox gets away from Appeal Court

I blogged a couple of weeks ago about the attempt by fox-hunting interests to overturn the UK governments ban on their "sport" through court action.

The case has now been considered by the Appeal Court, and their judgment is here.

Contrary to my original thoughts, the case turned on whether the 1949 Parliament Act was "subordinate legislation" to the 1911 Act, and thus unable to amend the parent Act. The Appeal Court found that it *was* subordinate legislation, but that it was able to amend the parent - they drew on numerous colonial precedents for this. They did suggest suggest that there were circumstances where an Act introduced under the 1911 Act would *not* be able to amend the parent act, but this was not one of them.

Relevance to New Zealand? This kind of entanglement does raise questions about our abilities to review and amend our constitutional arrangements. I think in framing any new written constitution, the government of the day would need to take some very high-level legal advice.

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