Countryside Alliance turns to A&O

Allen & Overy (A&O) is taking up the fight for hunting on behalf of the Countryside Alliance,The Lawyer can reveal.

Litigation partner Andrew Clark has been instructed by the alliance in its attempt to have the 1949 Parliament Act repealed. Brick Court Chambers’ Sir Sydney Kentridge QC is also instructed as lead counsel, supported by Richard Lissack QC of Outer Temple Chambers.

Following the use of the Parliament Act to force a ban on hunting yesterday (17 November), an application for judicial review is being filed at the High Court. A hearing is expected early next year.

The Countryside Alliance is contending that because the 1911 Parliament Act was used to introduce the 1949 Act, this means the 1911 Act was effectively amending itself – something that should not have been done.

If the alliance’s case is successful, acts of parliament including the Age of Homosexual Consent Act 2000, the European Parliamentary Elections Act 1999, and the War Crimes Act 1991 will also be overturned. These were all forced through parliament using the 1949 Act.

The Countryside Alliance is also planning an attack on the Hunting Bill using the Human Rights Act. With A&O once again acting, and Doughty Street Chambers’ Edward Fitzgerald QC as lead counsel, the alliance says that the Bill is deficient in not providing compensation for those affected by the hunting ban.

Lord Goldsmith, the Attorney General, has been notified of the alliance’s plans, but no action can be taken until the Human Rights Act is implemented in the New Year.

A Countryside Alliance spokesman said: “We are prepared in both cases to take it as far as it is possible.”