Case Notes: Parliamentary Process, Opposition in the House of Lords and the Hunting Act 2004

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The law lords presided over this case in force. Nine lords were present and most of them delivered individual and extensive judgments. We may infer from this that the judicial body of the House of Lords regarded the subject of the dispute as of crucial importance to the nation. The claimants were pro-hunters and on the face of it the case seemed to concern the banning of hunting mammals with dogs. Could the Red Fox, the Red Deer and the Brown Hare command such power? Perhaps the case was concerned with the capability of these phylogenetically sophisticated animals to suffer when hunted? Or perhaps there was a subtle conservation issue at stake here, although none of these species are rare and only the status of the Brown Hare has drawn any conservation interest in recent times. If the animals were not the focus was it the hunting of them, as a traditional practice or as a purported human right, which drew the crowds? This was surely not the position since a parallel case, examining the human rights issue, is currently progressing through the Court of Appeal.

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