CaRT cannot enforce its own interpretation of the law

Published: Monday, 14 December 2020

I’M UNABLE to complete the consultation as my only means is via my iPhone! Writes Brian D Jarrett.

However, I would suggest that we agree with any condition providing it does not break the law and does not try to contravene the various acts of parliament relating to canals.

Rules the courts refer to

Bearing in mind Halsbury’s Rules of English Law Volume 44. These are the rules judges and courts refer to when guidance is needed.  Few lawyers know or use these rules when representing boaters.

Boaters need to know that the 1971, 1983 and 1995 British Waterways Acts are Local or Private Acts of Parliament. This is to be distinguished from a private member’s Bill/Act which is something entirely different.

Construed against the promoters

Regarding the interpretation of Private Acts, Paragraph 1497 states:

'Where there is any real doubt as to its meaning, a Private Act must be construed strictly against the promoters.  It follows that, as between the promoters and members of the public, a Private Act shall be construed liberally in favour of the public, so that 1) Clauses to preserve general rights will be widely interpreted…'

This means that, where there is a dispute between the promoter (CaRT)and the individual, the court should interpret the legislation liberally in favour of the public, ie the defendant.  In other words, when CaRT terminate a boat licence because the boater is not cruising according to CaRT’s interpretation of Section 17 (3) c ii (the Mooring Guidance for Continuous Cruisers), the court should rule that CaRT cannot enforce its own interpretation of the law.

Acknowledging NBTA.