Defendants to criminal or civil proceedings will often seek to escape liability by showing that a public authority has acted ultra vires. For example, a person prosecuted for infringing a byelaw or breaking a licence condition may seek to advance the defence that the byelaw or condition is ultra vires the public authority which made or imposed it. Again, a person sued in debt by a public authority may seek to raise the defence that no money is due because the authority acted ultra vires in imposing the charge which it is now suing to recover. Nowadays, too, the European Court of Justice may hold in effect that an Act of Parliament is contrary to Community law and so should not be applied by UK courts. A person prosecuted, say in a magistrates' court, for a criminal offence created by a statute which is or may be contrary to Community law may seek to persuade the justices to “disapply” the statute—virtually, in the case of a post-Accession statute, to treat it as ultra vires the UK Parliament—and so to acquit him.