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no respecters of persons and stand between the

subject and any attempted encroachments on his

liberty by the executive, alert to see that any

coercive action is justified by law. In this case, I

have listened to arguments which might have

been addressed acceptably to the Court of

King’s Bench in the time of Charles I.

I protest, even if I do it alone, against a strained

construction put on words with the effect of

giving an uncontrolled power of imprisonment

to the minister.”

Lord Atkin went on to say that he knew of only one authority

which might justify the majority’s view of the law. It came from Lewis

Carroll. “When I use a word”, Humpty Dumpty said in a rather scornful

tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean, neither more nor less”. “The

question is” said Alice “whether you can make words mean so many

different things”. “The question is” said Humpty Dumpty “who is to be

the master – that’s all”.4

4

Ibid at p.245.

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