Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Supremacy of Parliament?

This is boggling beyond belief:

People who sell DVDs and videos illegally, including pornography to children, cannot be prosecuted because of a legislative blunder dating back 25 years, it has emerged.

Okay - I'm no great fan of the current (or 1984 :) quality of parliamentary draftsmanship but the Video Recordings Act was

ENACTED by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same,

So what is this blunder? Oh,

the then British Tory Government should have notified with the European Commission but failed to do so.

The error also went unnoticed when the laws were amended in 1993 and 1994.

The technicality means the act is unenforceable and urgent action is now under way to notify Europe and re-enact the legislation.

So, a law correctly passed by Parliament and in accordance with the British Constitution (and not over-ridden by legislation such as the HRA) is unenforceable because of a bureaucratic oversight? Has this got something to do with s8 (Cinematographic Films) of the European Communities Act? Or is there another control mechanism which requires all of our laws to be notified to the EU?

Hat tip to Caspar on the FIPR list.

This classic "reap as you sow" example of nu-Lab incompetence made me grin. H/t to Charles Crawford.

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