13/10/2005

Hunting ban upheld by House of Lords

The Countryside Alliance has failed in its bid to challenge the legality of the ban on hunting with dogs.

The countryside campaigners had argued that the Hunting Act was invalid, because it had been pushed through Parliament using the 1949 Parliament Act, which they said was not legal.

However, Lord Bingham of Cornhill, who led the panel of nine Law Lords who heard the case, ruled that the Act was legal and upheld the ban.

The Hunting Act came into force in February. It bans hunting with dogs and hare coursing, although there are some exemptions.

The League Against Cruel Sports welcomed the Law Lords decision. However, the Countryside Alliance has vowed to continue their fight to overturn the ban.

Countryside Alliance Chairman John Jackson said: “It is obviously unfortunate that the law lords could not find in our favour, for technical legal reasons.

“It means that unless the courts find it possible to intervene, we live in a country in which, without the consent of the House of Lords and the Sovereign powerless to intervene, the House of Commons can change the structure and working of our constitution in any way it pleases.

“There must now be concern that our parliamentary system provides no adequate check on the House of Commons, which itself has doubtful democratic legitimacy.”

(KMcA/SP)

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