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Adding Pepper

03 November 2009 / Ximena Montes Manzano
Issue: 4230 / Categories: Comment & Analysis , Admin , Income Tax
You don’t agree with HMRC’s interpretation of the tax law? XIMENA MONTES MANZANO explains when the principle that was established in Pepper v Hart can be applied


  • The facts of the Pepper v Hart case.
  • The Lords’ examination of the Finance Bill debates.
  • Three underlying principles that must exist for Hansard material to be relevant.
  • The restrictions on the decision.
  • The principle can also apply ‘out of court’.

The tax case of Pepper v Hart [1992] STC 898 made legal history by overturning a former rule of law that was made by judges and probably dated back to 1769 which prohibited the reference to parliamentary debates as an aid to statutory interpretation or construction.

This rule was known as the ‘exclusionary rule’ and prevented the courts from looking into discussions about a particular bill of law before it was passed in order to interpret ambiguous wording in favour of any party to litigation.

This article revisits...

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