Daily Archives: 5 December, 2012

Parliamentary Sovereignty and the Common Law


Note: I am republishing this, because the case in question is under discussion in another thread. SIG

The “Metric Martyrs” and the Constitution
Sean Gabb
(February 2002)
http://www.seangabb.co.uk/?q=node/80

On Monday the 18th February 2002, judgment was given in the Court of Appeal on the “Metric Martyrs” case (Thoburn v Sunderland City Council. These were appeals from four men who had in different ways been told by lower courts that it was no longer legal for them to use the English system of weights and measures for any purpose of trade. The grounds of their appeal were that the relevant laws had been made further to powers contained in the European Communities Act 1972, whereas it appeared that their right to continued use of the English system had been protected by the Weights and Measures Act 1985. According to the doctrine of implied repeal, an earlier Act cannot be used to amend or repeal a later Act. Instead, where any conflict arises between Acts of Parliament that cannot be smoothed by judicial interpretation, the later one always takes precedence: leges posteriores priores contrarias abrogant . Continue reading