An exception to the Enrolled Act rule for bills passed under the Parliament Act 1949?

The validity of the Hunting Act 2004 (which outlawed fox hunting in most circumstances) was challenged in the courts.  By applying the Enrolled Act rule this challenge might have been struck out as not justiciable.  However, both parties to the litigation contended that the issue was justiciable, raising the possibility that the case established no ratio decidendi.

However, the UK’s top court (the House of Lords) concluded that the Enrolled Act rule did not arise because the Hunting Act had been passed by a procedure created by the Parliament Acts of 1911 and 1949, which allowed a bill to become law without the assent of the House of Lords.  The court concluded that these acts empowered the courts to determine, as a matter of statutory construction, whether the 1911 Act had lawfully allowed the 1949 Act to be passed.  Having established this principle the court then concluded that the 1949 Act had not exceeded the powers created by the 1911 Act and hence this challenge to the validity of the Hunting Act failed.

The principle established by this fox hunting case goes no further than allowing the courts to consider the validity of an Act where the impugned procedure is itself created by a statute, such as the Parliament Act 1911.[1]

[1] The fox hunting case: R (Jackson) v HM Attorney General [2005] UKHL 56.