Literal Rule

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  • Created by: Tevita
  • Created on: 06-01-14 17:13
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  • Literal Rule
    • Definition
      • The words of the statute are interpreted to give them their literal or grammatical meaning.
    • Examples
      • Cheeseman v DPP
        • The defendant was exposing himself in a public place. Statute made it an offence to expose oneself to passengers his conviction was quashed because the policeman weren't a passenger.
      • LNER v Berriman
        • A workman was killed whilst oiling the tracks. Statute allowed compensation to be payed to those relaying or repairing the widow did not receive any compensation because oiling does not come under relaying or repairing.
      • R v Harris
        • Defendant bit of victims nose, statute made it an offence to stab or cut, and the conviction was qushed because bit is different from to stab or to cut.
      • Fisher v Bell
        • The defendant had a flick knife displayed in his shop window with a price tag on it. Statute made it a criminal offence to 'offer' such flick knives for sale. His conviction was quashed as goods on display in shops are not 'offers' in the technical sense but an invitation to treat. The court applied the literal rule of statutory interpretation.


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