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  • Created by: Nickita
  • Created on: 11-05-13 20:01
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  • Statutory interpretation
    • Literal rule
      • Plain, ordianary meaning applied. Lord Reid in Pinner v Everett stated 'the natural and ordinary meaning of that word/phrase in its context.
      • Whitely v Chappell,  Offence made of impersonating 'any person entitled to vote' at election. D impersonated a dead person - it had a absurd result, D was acquitted.
      • Fisher v Bell, Law says you cannot sell flip knives defendant were not selling, they were using it as a display. This has a unjust result. They were not guilty when rule was applied. they played around with the wording of act, by saying they were not going against the law because they literally wern't selling.
      • Berriman, Wife unable to obtain compenstaion because the husband was 'maintaining' and not 'relaying' or 'reparing'.
      • AD
        • Respects the sovereignty of parliament. Judges who agree say mistakes are for parliament to correct not judges. In magor v St melons v newport cooperation it was argued it is not open for judges to fill in gaps of act.
        • Encourages certainity, Stock v Frank jones said it is better for parliament to make changes, people are more likely to know where they stand.
        • Quick decisions could be made as in DPP v Cheeseman, the word 'passenger' was found quickly in the 1847 dictionary.
      • DIS
        • It is not fair, as in berriman and whitely v chappell. Unfair if guilty if impersonated a dead person, but wouldnt be guilty if impersonated a live person. and unfair if warned if 'repairing' or 'relaying' not if 'maintaining'.
        • It is hard to apply, if words have more than one meaning as in ALLEN. 'marry'.
        • Not flexible and doesn't allow judges to use common sense. Micheal zander describes it as ' Mechanical and divorced'.
    • Golden rule
      • Extension of the literal rule and applied where an application would lead to absurdity.
      • -Narrow application: proposed by Lord Reid. If a word is ambiguous a Judge may choose from possible meanings.
        • R v Allen, made it an offence to marry if you were already married. The court said 'marry' is ambiguous. Had two meanings. 1. to be legally married, 2. to go through ceremony. Judges chose the second meaning since the 1st meaning was clearly absurd to apply it.
      • -Wider application: There is one meaning but it may lead to an absurd outcome.
        • Adler v George, Offence found to be 'in the vicinity of a prohabited place' Defendant was arrested in the prohabited place thus argued he couldn't be convicted.
        • Re sigsworth - Court prevented a son who had murdered his mum, from inheriting his mothers estate. The act was unambiguous but the court didn't want the son to benefit from his crime.
      • AD
        • Courts can alter the wording if result is absurd. R v Allen - Court altered 'marry' otherwise outcome would been absurd.
        • Stops parliament from having to pass amaending legislation. Correwcts can be made easily just with altering. Adler v george. they altered the phrase
        • respects the authority of paliament, because literal rule would be used , such as in the narrow application, choose between alternative meanings.
      • DIS
        • Application is inconsistent. even when the judges are involved. parker used the rule in adler v george but literal rule in fisher v bell where the outcome, seemed just as absurd.
        • allows judges to change wording in limited circumstances. Micheal zander describes as 'a freeble parachute'.
        • Unpredictableand lacks guidlines. Michael zander - 'An unpredictable safety value' due to lack guidelines.
    • Internal aids
    • External aids
    • Purposive rule
      • R v Bentham, charged with possessing an imitation fire alarm under s.17 fire alarms act 1968. pretended to have gun in pocket. for him to be guilty judges have to change the wording of the act.
      • Coltman v bibby tankers, it had to be decided whether a sunken ship was to be considered as a equipment. law lords decided that the purpose of act was clearly to protect workers in work place.
      • AD
      • Jones v Tower boot. Court of appeal decided racial harrasment by fellow workers happened in the course of employment, making employers liable. purpose was to protect employers from discrimination
      • DIS
      • Modern version of mischief. court looks at the purpose and tries to achieve that purpose EU uses the approach favourably. used in european court of justice.
    • Mischief rule
      • Oldest of rules.
      • Established in the Heydons case(1584) Rule should only be applied where there is ambiguity in the statute
      • Judges consider 4 factors. EX. 'What was the reason for this remedy?'
      • Limitation - Mischief could be seen clearly from the act.
      • Smith v hughes, where 'solicting in the street' was held to include soliciting from the window. court said the aim of the act was to allow people to walk along the streets without being solicited.
      • Elliot v grey, charged with offence under road traffic act 1930, of using a uninsured vehicle on the road. the court helf that the car was being used as it represented a hazrd, thus required insurance in event of a incident.
      • AD
        • Gives effect to parliaments intention. Elliot v grey - parliament would have wanted all cars on the road to be insured.
        • allows judges to use common sense. saves parliament from having to pass amending legislation.
        • allows judges to look at external aids like hansard. as in pepper v hart. helps see parliaments intention.
      • DIS
        • Out of date and doesnt reflect mondern needs. Judges roles have changed forexample, they no longer draft statutes for monarch.
        • undemocratic, gives power to unelected judges.
        • Finding intention could be difficult. argued what parliament intended can only be seen in what is actually written in act.
  • Established in the Heydons case(1584) Rule should only be applied where there is ambiguity in the statute


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