Stat Interp - descriptions and cases

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  • Statutory Interpretation
    • Literal Rule
      • Uses "ordinary, natural" meaning
      • Sussex Peerage Case (1844)
      • Uses OED from the time the Act was made
      • Cases
        • LNER v Berriman - widow denied compensation, Fatal Accidents Act, "relaying or repairing"
        • Cheeseman v DPP - D caught masturbating in public toilet - police had to be "passengers" - Town Police Clauses Act
        • Fisher v Bell - placing flick knives on display in shop window - not "offering for sale"
    • Golden Rule
      • Wide Approach - modify natural meaning
      • Narrow Approach - choose between different meanings
      • Exception to literal rule - absurd or unjust result
      • Cases
        • R v Allen (narrow) - "shall marry" interpreted to mean "shall go through a marriage ceremony - literal rule would have meant bigamy could never be committed
        • Adler v George (wide) - Official Secrets Act - "in the vicinity of" into "within"
        • Re Sigsworth (wide) - only son killed mother to claim money - "issue" modified to mean can't inherit if killed parent
    • Mischief Rule
      • Heydon's case 1584
      • Looks at problem the Act was trying to solve when it was first made
      • Cases
        • Smith v Hughes - prostitute calling from balcony to men in street - literal rule would mean NG "in a street" - MR interpreted so that location did not matter
        • RCN v DHSS - "registered medical practitioner"  interpreted to mean doctors and nurses - act was trying to resolve issue of unsafe back street abortions
        • DPP v Bull - Street Offences Act - 'common prostitute to loiter or solicit...' - NG as common prost. was women and not men - act was made to control women and not men
    • Purposive Approach
      • looks at positive reasons why act was made
      • European Court of Justice - used to interpret EU law
      • issues concerning Human Rights Act
      • Cases
        • Ex Parte Smith - D criminally insane - Adoption Act stated he had rights to birth mother's details - positive aims of act was to promote family relationships - details denied
        • Jones v Tower Boot - subjected to racial comments whilst on work break - Race Relations Act "in the course of employment" - interpreted to include break as act was made to promote racial harmony
        • RCN v DHSS - positive aims were to stop back street abortions


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