Investigatory Powers Bill

Francis Davey fjmd1a at
Sat Jul 23 23:27:31 BST 2016

2016-07-23 16:24 GMT+01:00 Peter Fairbrother <zenadsl6186 at>:
> Not quite what happened in Pepper v Hart - the only evidence from Hansard
> considered was that of a single Treasury Secretary, rather than the entire
> debate.

The best explanation of Pepper v Hart is that it was intended to prevent
the sponsor of the bill from being able to make an unequivocal statement to
the house which was then resiled from by the tax authorities when they had
to argue the point.

The problem with reading Parliamentary debates is that (i) you'd have to
read the whole debate; and (ii) even then you'd have no idea why the MPs
voted in the ways they actually did. They may have heard the arguments but
not agreed with any of them.

In particular self-serving statements by governments about the bills they
are promoting ought to be out of order.

Most of the highest authority supports the above - i.e. the rule is very

In practice in appellate courts counsel far too often try to press on
judges Parliamentary material in areas where there's no authority and/or
confusion. I've seen that quite a few times, though no-one has tried it on
me that I can recall. But I don't get many counsel addressing me. If I did
who knows?

So people try it. Judges sometimes are influenced by it even though they
should not be.

Francis Davey
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