Rule of law

PUBLISHED: 11:58 26 June 2008 | UPDATED: 13:22 06 May 2010

SIR, — As a regular family visitor to your area I look forward to reading your newspaper which carries the news and views of your residents on all matters of concern to them and their neighbourhoods. Your sports pages are excellent and the standard of wri

SIR, - As a regular family visitor to your area I look forward to reading your newspaper which carries the news and views of your residents on all matters of concern to them and their neighbourhoods. Your sports pages are excellent and the standard of writing is equal to and sometimes better than myopic effusions which pass for sports journalism in some national newspapers.

I am writing however in connection with the views of Cllr Tony Swendell (Herts Advertiser, May 29) and the accompanying editorial.

Following a decision of the local authgority to shut down a licensed premises, the district council was apparently advised that as a result of an appeal lodged against the decision, the premises can continue to operate until the appeal is heard.

In the same context, another test case taken to court to stop the extended opening hours of a licensed premises on the grounds, inter alia, of the likely migration of miscreants, who should not be allowed in such premises at late hours, was also refused.

The late Lord Denning, who was once referred to as "the best-known and best-loved judge in the whole of our history" by the senior Law Lord, Lord Bingham, was once described by Mr Michael Foot as an ass.

In the exercise of power by public bodies, Lord Denning said: "Power tends to corrupt. This I have shown you. That is why in civilised society there should be a system of checks and balances to restrain the abuse of power. It is why in times past we stood firm against the oppression of King John and set store by our Magna Carta. It is why we rebelled against the diving right of kings and enacted our Bill of Rights. It is why we resist today the conferring of absolute power on any person or body, or any section of the community. There is, as far as I know one restraint on which we can rely. It is the restraint afforded by the law. We have to respect all that Parliament has done and may do in the granting of powers - and of rights and immunities - but let us build up a body of law to see that these powers are not misused or abused. Combined with upright judges to enforce the law, it is a task which I commend to all. If we achieve it, we shall be able to say with Milton:

Oh how comely it is and how reviving

To the spirits of just men long oppressed

When God into the hands of their deliverer

Puts invincible might..........

The might of the law itself."

The two matters raised in your editorial can be satisfactorily resolved at this stage without reference to the Law Commission and the local authorities should seek advice accordingly.

T. FAHM,

Blackwood, South Wales.

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