The Rules of Language

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  • Rules of Language
    • Ejusdem Generis
      • States that when general words follow particular words, the general worlds should be taken to be in the same context or 'category'
      • In Powell v Kempton Park Race Course, the defendants were not found to be liable as betting in an open enclosure is not the same as in a 'house or office' as it is not covered.
    • Noscitur a sociis
      • Under this rule, the meaning of a word is to be gathered from the context in which it is written
      • In Muir v Keay the defendant kept his café open late without a license. The Act stated he needed a license if he was to provide 'entertainment'. When interpreted under this rule, the defendant was found liable as entertainment was taken in context as drinking coffee as well
    • Expressio unius est exclusio alterius
      • States that the expression of one thing. When particular words are not followed by general ones, the Act only applies to the specified particular ones.
      • In Inhabitants of Sedgley (1837), rates were charges on Land, titles and coal mines. This meant rates could not be charged on any other type of mine.


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