Ms Elaine Waugh
Sunderland City Council
PO Box 100 Civic Centre
Your ref. EW AGH/64568
Dear Ms Waugh,
Penalty Charge Notice SX06021491 issued 21.04.04
In response to your communication of 13th August 2004.
There are a number of points I wish to have clarified before pursuing the matter further.
Am I to assume due to the lack of communication that the outstanding Penalty Charge Notice is not to be pursued?
If it is to be pursued can you advise as to why a period of now some five months has elapsed without any communication whatsoever from yourselves?
The points in your communication, which I would like to address, are as follows: -
1.You refer to having taken legal advice from Leading Counsel. Under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 I would be grateful if you could provide a copy of this advice along with the name of “Leading Counsel.’
2.You make a statement inferring that the clause in the Bill of Rights refers only to criminal matters. The Bill of Rights make no reference to criminal (penal) law. It states, “That all grants and promises of fines and forfeitures before conviction are illegal and void.”
I would therefore be grateful if you could qualify the statement and detail any precedent or authority to clarify the statement.
3. Following from this therefore, you state that the issue of a PCN is not a criminal/penal matter, simply an administrative procedure where a person ‘suspected’ of contravening the parking regulations, may discharge his personal liability. If that is the case then someone who wishes to dispute any ‘suspected contravention’ must be allowed access to a court of law to refute or challenge any potential liability. Can you please detail the procedure whereby I could access a court of law (the adjudication process is not a recognised court of law) in order to challenge the attempted imposition of a ’fine or charge?’
4. In the most bizarre statement of all you state, “ However, even if the Council’s view is wrong, the actual test for (partial) repeal of a constitutional law statute propounded by Laws LJ in Thoburn is satisfied. The words used by the Road Traffic Act 1991 are so specific that the inference of an actual determination by the legislature to the effect the result contended for (i.e. that it is permissible to issue PCN’s without there being a prior conviction by a criminal court) is irresistible.
This statement is not irresistible and conflicts with laws LJ who states that constitutional statutes must be expressly repealed. There is no express repeal of the Bill of Rights in the 1991 Road Traffic Act no matter how specific the wording of the draftsmen. The specific wording in section 1 of the 1985 Weights and Measures Act is also clear and specific…
“(1) The yard of the metre shall be the unit of measurement of length and the pound or the kilogram shall be unit of measurement of mass by reference to which any measurement involving a measurement of length or mass shall be made in the United Kingdom; and —
Following the logic of your argument the defence used in the Metric Martyrs case is therefore sound and irresistible and Laws Judgement wrong.
Therefore, I welcome taking the matter further and wish for the case to be referred for trial in a proper and orderly manner.
Would you also confirm that the matter would not be able to be dealt with by a magistrate’s court, as it is dependent on a precedent set by a higher court?