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Sunday, June 13, 2010

General Nature of Presumptions

On presumptions:They are not reflections which are capable of determining the construction of the Act once it has been passed, unless there is something that one can lay hold of in the context of the Act which justifies the introduction of the exception sought for. Merely to say that Parliament cannot be presumed to have intended to bring about a consequence which many people might think to be unjust is not, in my opinion, a principle of construction for this purpose. In point of fact, whatever innocence of view may have been allowable to the lawyers of the 18th and 19th centuries, the 20th century lawyer is entitled to few assumptions in this field. It is not open to him to ignore the fact that the Legislature has often shown indifference to the assertion of rights which Courts of Law have been accustomed to recognise and enforce and that it has often excluded the authority of Courts of Law in favour of other preferred tribunals. [per Lord Radcliffe] Smith (Kathleen Rose) v East Elloe Rural DC [1956] UKHL 2 (26 March 1956) URL: http://www.bailii.org/uk/cases/UKHL/1956/2.html Cite as: [1956] UKHL 2, [1956] AC 736

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