11/27/2005UK: Technical Success in Bill of Rights Parking Ticket Challenge
A man challenging the UK parking ticket regime based on the English Bill of Rights has won on a technicality.
Robin de Crittenden has won a technical victory in his November 18 challenge to a UK parking ticket based on the 1689 English Bill of Rights. National Parking Adjudication Service ruled that the Worcester Council failed to supply evidence of a Traffic Regulation Order, side-stepping the larger constitutional issues. On Monday, De Crittenden will formally announce his appeal to the High Court to have the fundamental legality of a decriminalized parking ticket addressed.
"They are running away because they know the law is bigger than they are," de Crittenden said. "The purpose of this challenge is to put the politicians back in their kennels."
In 2003, 47 percent of British motorists received either a traffic or parking ticket. The parking fines generate an estimated £1 billion (US $1.7 billion) in revenue each year. De Crittenden argues that since 1991 "civil" parking tickets have violated the constitutional protection against punishment being imposed without a fair trial.
"That all grants and promises of fines and forfeitures of particular persons before conviction are illegal and void," the 1689 Bill of Rights states. De Crittenden contends that under British law, an ordinary statute like the Road Traffic Act of 1991 which decriminalized parking tickets cannot overrule the Bill of Rights without an explicit statement of parliament.
"What Robin de Crittenden is doing is immensely important to the way justice is carried out in this country, said Mark Wallace, Campaign Manager of The Freedom Association. "This case is not just about a parking fine: it is about the historic right that we were granted in 1689 not to be fined without a fair trial. Modern politicians seem to have decided that they can simply give the power to be judge and jury over to the police, or to parking wardens. That is not the case."