Statutory Interpretation:Why is it used

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  • Statutory Interpretation
    • Aims to Understanding
      • Interpretationsections e.g s2-6 of Theft Act 1968
        • S1 "A person commits theft if he DISHONESTLY APPROPRIATES PROPERTY BELONGING TO ANOTHER with the INTENTION to PERMANENTLY DEPRIVE THEM OF IT
      • The InterpretationAct 1978-applies to some general words e.g. 'he' includes 'she' and the singular includes the plural unless the contrary appears
    • Reasons for Statutory Interpretation
      • BROAD TERMS-the dangerous dogs act 1991 includes the phrase 'any dog of the type know as the pit bull terrier' (is 'type' the same as 'breed')
        • BROCK V DPP (1993)-Convicted in Mags Court. Appealed to QBDC on a point of law-> decided 'type' was wider than 'breed' (cover any dog which shared a no. of characteristics with that dog)
      • AMBIGUITY
      • A DRAFTING ERROR by the  Parliamentary Council
      • NEW DEVELOPMENTS- Royal College of Nursing vs DHSS
      • CHANGES IN THE USE OF LANGUAGE- Cheesman v DPP (1990)
        • Chessman found masterbating i a public toilet and was arrested by Police. Definition of 'street' found by looking at S81 of the Public Health AmmendmentAct 1902 and the court looked at the Oxford English Dictionary to find the meaning in 'passenger' in 1847. Police weren't 'passengers' under the literal meaning so there was a not guilty verdict.
    • Approaches
      • The Literal Rule/Golden Rule/Mischief Rule/ Purposive Approach
      • Judges can choose which interpretation they use but once the interpretation is laid down in a case that interpretation is precedent for future cases unless the precedent has been overruled by a higher court

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