Friday, December 08, 2006

Judges perplexed

Check out para. 14 of this judgement by Lord Justice Rose and Mr Justice Crane and Mr Justice Openshaw:

"So, yet again, the courts are faced with a sample of the deeply confusing provisions of the Criminal Justice Act 2003, and the satellite Statutory Instruments to which it is giving stuttering birth. The most inviting course for this Court to follow, would be for its members, having shaken their heads in despair to hold up their hands and say: "the Holly Grail of rational interpretation is impossible to find". But it is not for us to desert our judicial duty, however lamentably others have legislated. But, we find little comfort or assistance in the historic canons of construction for determining the will of Parliament which were fashioned in a more leisurely age and at a time when elegance and clarity of thought and language were to be found in legislation as a matter of course rather than exception."

Wonderful. It should be enlarged, framed and stuck on the office wall of every minister whose reaction to the latest headlines is another legislative "solution."

Thanks to ARCH for the link.

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