Letter: Blood sports and the law makers

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The Independent Online
Sir: It is depressing to see a Labour MP, a county councillor and a borough councillor blaming a judge for the shortcomings of the British constitution (Letters, 12 February). These politicians show a worrying ignorance of the constitutional position.

Mr Justice Laws has no power to overrule what he understands to be the law. It is a basic principle of all liberal and democratic constitutions that only elected representatives may do this. British judges owe no duty to the electorate, and nor should they. Their duty is to interpret the law, which may be changed by MPs at any time.

Undoubtedly, local representatives should be able to determine local policy, but that requires a strengthening of the power of local government. At the moment councillors are helpless in the face of distant Westminster. This power structure needs reforming far more than laws on hunting.

The only country that has ever banned hunting was Hitler's Germany. That regime was not well known for its respect for law.

Yours faithfully,


Dartford, Kent