Wikipedia:Main Page history/2012 December 12

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Lord Mackay was a judge for Pepper v Hart.

Pepper v Hart is a landmark decision in English law on the use of legislative history in statutory interpretation. The House of Lords, by a majority, established the principle that when primary legislation is ambiguous then, under certain circumstances, a court may refer to statements made in Parliament in an attempt to interpret the meaning of the legislation. Before this ruling, such an action would have been seen as a breach of parliamentary privilege. Lord Mackay (pictured), dissenting, argued that Hansard should not be considered admissible evidence due to the time and expense involved in a lawyer having to look up every debate and discussion on a particular statute when giving legal advice or preparing a case. The decision met a mixed reception. While the judiciary were cautiously accepting, legal academics argued that it violated rules of evidence, damaged the separation of powers between the executive and Parliament and caused additional expense in cases. In 2000, a senior judge, Lord Steyn, delivered a lecture in which he attacked the logic and legal theory behind the decision, and several subsequent judicial decisions have considerably limited the use of Pepper by the courts. (Full article...)

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Taos Pueblo church

Front view of the entrance to Mission de San Geronimo church at Taos Pueblo, an ancient pueblo belonging to a Taos (Northern Tiwa) speaking Native American tribe of Pueblo people. The pueblo is approximately 1,000 years old and lies about 1 mile (1.6 km) north of the modern city of Taos, New Mexico. The church was originally built around 1620, but was destroyed several times. The current building (pictured) is the fourth to be built. Today, about 90% of the Taos community are baptized as Catholics, but many still also practice their indigenous religion.

Photo: Ansel Adams; Restoration: Ryan Kaldari

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