Victory for opponent of Sunday trading

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The Independent Online
(First Edition)

A CAMPAIGNER against an anti- Sunday trading campaigner Roy Edey yesterday won a High Court victory over his right to bring private prosecutions against superstores giants which have opened on the Sabbath.

Two judges ruled that Roy Edey was legally entitled to launch such actions after the Attorney General, Sir Nicholas Lyell, declined to intervene. They said that prosecutions already begun by Mr Edey against Woolworth, Superdrug and Tesco Stores would proceed as soon as possible.

But Lord Justice Butler Sloss and Mr Justice Macpherson said that in view of changes in the law the new Sunday Trading Act Bill, allowing shops to open for six hours trading hours on Sundays for all shops, comes into force on 26 August - magistrates 'may not regard the offences disclosed as being particularly serious'.

Wayne de Nicolo, solicitor for Mr Edey, said: 'This case is of major importance in legal terms as it upholds the right of the individual to take action to uphold the rule of law where local or national government fails to do so.'

'It also raises once again the role of the Attorney General and the conflict between his political and legal duties.

'The Sunday trading laws were on the statute book. He was asked to uphold them but failed to do so.'

The judges said Mr Edey, 68, a retired solicitors' clerk, of West Street, Harrow, north-west London, was 'a courteous but determined champion' of people who believed the trading ban under the 1959 Shops Act should be upheld until Parliament had changed the law.