A Retreat from Pepper v Hart? A Reply to Lord Steyn
AbstractThis article shows how the House of Lords has, in recent years, embarked on a retreat from its landmark decision in Pepper v Hart which had relaxed the rule prohibiting courts from using ministerial statements made in Parliament for the purpose of interpreting statutes. This development was initiated by a lecture given by Lord Steyn in May 2000 and subsequently published in this journal. The article attempts to refute the reasons advanced in support of the retreat. In addition, it sets out to show that the alternative solution proposed by Lord Steyn creates both conceptual and practical difficulties. As a result it argues for a reversal of the retreat.