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Judgments - Boake Allen Limited and others (Appellants) v. Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (Respondents)

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51.  Mr Aaronson also relied on what Diplock LJ said in Salomon v Comrs of Customs and Excise [1967] 2 QB 116, 143, to the effect that, where a statutory provision was "not clear" and was "reasonably capable of [bearing] more than one meaning", the court should favour "the meaning which is consonant" with the UK's treaty obligations. This principle is of less weight in a case such as the present where there is no question, as in Salomon, of the legislative provision in issue, namely section 788 of the 1988 Act, having been enacted to give effect to a specific treaty obligation. In this case, section 788, while enacted to enable the UK's treaty obligations under DTCs generally to have effect in domestic law, was plainly not designed to give effect to any specific obligation or even any specific Convention. Nonetheless, the point would have some force here on the counter-factual hypothesis that the claimants succeed on the first issue. Nonetheless, it would, in my view, have been quite insufficient to overcome the Revenue's arguments as to why the claimants cannot succeed on the second issue, namely that, on a fair reading of the 1988 Act as a whole ACT is not within the ambit of section 788(3)(a).


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