Re: Cyclists win police court battle!JNugent wrote on 16/07/2006 16:31 +0100:
> Tony Raven wrote:
>> JNugent wrote on 16/07/2006 14:42 +0100:
>>> The courts pay - and are supposed to pay - no attention at all to
>>> what ministers claim the law is about. They pay close attention to
>>> the wording of the law and to judicial interpretations of what that
>>> wording means, and not to the intentions which are claimed to lie
>>> behind it. There have been several recent examples of politicians
>>> trying on the Boateng trick - only to be rebuffed. Boateng should, of
>>> course, know better.
>> Is the wrong answer. The Courts often look into the legislative
>> intent of Parliament to assist their interpretation of the legislation
>> and reference to what ministers said at the time is relevant to that.
>> That is very different from Executive interference in the operation
>> of the Judiciary.
> ....is the *actual* wrong answer.
> The poster appears not to appreciate the difference between ministers
> and Parliament. Ministers are not spokesmen for Parliament. He is not
> alone in that of course - the current crop of ministers appear to have
> the same failing.
See for example Justice Laddie in Michaels v Taylor Woodrow (2001)
"the courts are trying to implement the presumed intention of
Parliament. If Parliament has considered the question 'what relief
should be available to a person harmed by breach of this legislation?'
and has furnished an express answer, it is not for the courts to
legislate other forms of relief . . . If no relief is specified then the
court again has to decide what was the legislative intent. It may be
that, from a consideration of the whole of the Act and the history of
the legislation, the legislative intent is found to be not to give any
rights of action to harmed individuals at all. But where no relief is
specified the court may be more willing to assume that the legislative
intent was that the common law should provide a cause of action".
What a Minister says, as the Member of Parliament usually taking the
legislation through Parliament, would definitely count in "the history
of the legislation". There have been numerous recent instances where
Ministers have made clear that some of the literal consequences of a
Golden Rule interpretation of the legislation laid before Parliament are
not intended and should not be prosecuted.
"Anyone who conducts an argument by appealing to authority is not using
his intelligence; he is just using his memory."
- Leonardo da Vinci