Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Addressing a conflict of laws


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THE ADMITTEDLY HONOURABLE and virtuous purpose of the Tenantries Freehold Purchase Act is “to establish by law a right for tenants of lots in tenantries who satisfy the requirements of this Act to purchase the freehold at a price governed by consideration of public policy and the requirements of the Constitution.

“This Act shall receive such fair, large and liberal construction and interpretation as will best enhance the attainment of its purposes.

”Here beginneth impunity! In event its passing, this Act contravened the provisions of a fundamental freedom presumed to have been guaranteed by the “Constitution” to the extent that a non-textual amendment particularising the exemption had to be made.

But worse than this deviation was the existence at the time of this amendment and continuing to prevail is comprehensive provision for its avoidance in the Town And Country Planning Act.

The unimpeachable condition is the inclusion among other matters for which provision may be made in development plan by Government with a statutory Board or with owners and other persons and by such persons with one another (T&CP Act Cap 240 Sec. 6(3) Second Schedule Part VII).

Simply put, the Crown had at the time of the introduction of the Tenantries Freehold Purchase Act, and still has the authority which it exercises for the acquisition of private property for public purposes as “consideration of public policy” and disposal of such and to whom it will.

So why did it violate a fundamental freedom of the “Constitution” to achieve a purpose that was easily attainable without the violation?

The Tenantries Freehold Purchases Act is not reasonably defensible in an action for judicial review of its “constitutionality”.

The danger continues to exist that special cases, passions and prejudices will induce the making of bad law, particularly when the provisions of existing statutes, whether through ignorance, weakness or deliberate fault, are momentarily eclipsed.

“The evil that men do lives after them”



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