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FACT (the Friends of Antique and Cultural Treasures Limited) sought permission to appeal after it lost a judicial review in October. The appeal is around the act’s ‘proportionality’ in denying owners of antique ivory their property rights.

A date for the hearing in front of three Court of Appeal judges has not been set. However, observers believe a spring 2020 hearing is likely, delaying the law’s enforcement until at least after the appeal has been heard.

DEFRA, the defendant in the judicial review, would not comment on a timetable for enforcing the act, as pre-general election ‘purdah’ rules prevent comment on government policy.

FACT was encouraged to appeal after the review judge, Mr Justice Robert Jay, declared himself “sympathetic” to some of the group’s arguments in his judgment published on November 5. He found the government’s argument had “considerably” understated the impact of the act on dealers “and fails completely to deal with collectors, whether they be amateur or expert”.

FACT is seeking donations towards legal costs – that, following the High Court ruling, currently include those of DEFRA.

To donate to funding the FACT appeal, the details are: British Antique Dealers’ Association, Coutts & Co, Acc No: 00089001, Sort code: 18-00-02.

See Letters in this issue.