The Parliament Act after the Hunting Bill and Environmental Impact Assessment of Hybrid Bills

The Parliament Act after the Hunting Bill and Environmental Impact Assessment of Hybrid Bills

CategorySeminars Archive Author Richard Harwood OBE KC, David Feldman * Date

This seminar by members of 39 Essex Street’s Parliamentary and Public Affairs Group will consider some important recent developments affecting the Parliamentary process on public, private and hybrid Bills.  Recent cases suggest that the courts are loosening the restraints that have traditionally kept them from intervening in the legislative process.

The Hunting Act case R. (Jackson and others) v H.M. Attorney General – has important consequences for the future operation of the Parliament Acts.  Just as significantly, the decisions of the Divisional Court and Court of Appeal suggest an ever-increasing scope, post- Pepper v Hart, for references to Hansard in disputes about the meaning and effect of legislation. How should Parliamentarians, lawyers and public affairs professionals have to respond?

The Hybrid Bill process can raise difficult Environmental Impact Assessment issues. Practitioners are faced with the implications of Luxembourg v Linster including the duties on Parliament to comply with the EIA process and the powers of the Courts to review the adequacy of the process. What implications does this have for the CrossRail Bill?

Richard Harwood has drafted over 1,082 amendments tabled to Bills from the Regional Development Agencies Act 1998 to the Prevention of Terrorism Bill 2005.  He also appeared in the Select Committee hearings on the Channel Tunnel Rail Link Bill as junior counsel for the London Borough of Newham, advancing the case for a CTRL station at Stratford.  Other work has included advising on various Transport and Works Act Orders including Thameslink 2000 and Turner Contemporary.  Richard has appeared in numerous Environmental Impact Assessment cases including Goodman, Lebus, Prokopp and Younger Homes.

Gordon Nardell is a former member of the Parliamentary Counsel Office.  He appeared as junior counsel for the League Against Cruel Sports on its intervention in the Hunting Act case and has acted in other high-profile litigation on public law, legislative and human rights issues including Alconbury and R v DPP, ex parte Kebilene. He regularly provides advice and drafting assistance for public bodies, NGOs and public affairs professionals on public Bills, amendments and legislative proposals, and has given evidence to Parliamentary and other proceedings including the Burns Inquiry and the DEFRA hunting hearings.

David Feldman is Rouse Ball Professorial Fellow in English Law at Downing College, Cambridge, Academic Associate at 39 Essex Street and former Legal Adviser to the Joint Select Committee on Human Rights.

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