Reasons for statutory interpretation

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  • Reasons for statutory interpretation
    • Ambiguity
      • Where a word has 2 meanings and the correct meaning is unclear.
      • Allen 1872. Meaning of the word 'marry'. As they wanted bigamy to exist they chose a marriage ceremony over to get married so that bigamy could exist
    • New Developments
      • Statutes may not cover new technology.
      • Royal College of nursing v DHSS (1981)
        • Under the Abortion Act 1967, abortions could only be carried out by 'registered medical practioner' so they changed the act to include nurses due to technological advancements.
    • Drafting Errors
      • Original bill is changed many times in the law making process due to amendments from both houses
        • This causes an unnoticed error in the statute
    • Changes in Language
      • Meaning of word can change over time.
      • Cheeseman v DPP (1990)
        • A man was masturbating in a public toilet. The police saw him but were stood still. They weren't 'passengers' but were stationary
    • Broad Terms
      • Used when word has 2 possible meanings.
      • Dangerous Dogs Act 1991. Which dogs classify as dangerous?
        • Written in broad terms to cover all dogs.


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