Aids to Interpretaion and Rules of language

These are revision notes on Rules to interpretation and Aids to interpretation at AS level AQA for Unit 1 exam.

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  • Created on: 04-10-14 15:59
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Intrinsic aids.
Aids found within the Act itself.
Can be used to understand the meaning of a word or phrase in a question.
LONG AND/OR SHORT TITLE. Can be referred to as guidance.
PREAMBLE. A statement preceding the main body of the Act. This sets out the purpose of the
Act in detail.
SCHEDULES. Can be referred to in order to make sense of the main text/understand the Act.
E.g. Hunting Act 2004. `Hunting is exempt if it is within a class specified in schedule 1.'
Extrinsic aids.
Aids to interpretation found outside the Act.
DICTIONARIES. Used to find the literal meaning of a word.
E.g. in Vaughan V Vaughan the Court of Appeal had to interpret the word `molest.'
PREVIOUS ACTS. In Wheatley, the Court of Appeal had to interpret the provisions of the
Explosive substances Act 1883.
INTERPRETATION ACT 1978. Provides a definition of certain words that are often used in
The rules of language
The ejusdem generis rule.
Where the general words follow particular words, the general words are interpreted
to be of the same kind as the particular words.
E.G. Dogs, cats and other animals. The `other animals' is the general words.
The words get interpreted in line with the other words. So `other animals' would be
other domestic animals.
CASE: Powell V Kempton Park Race Course. Court applied the ejusdem generis rule
and said that the enclosure was not a relevant place.
Expressio Unius est exclusion alterius.
The expression of one thing implies the exclusion of the other.
Where particular words are used and these are not followed by general words.
CASE: Inhabitants of Sedgley (1837) the rule expression unius est exclusion alterius
was applied and as rates were charged on `land, titles and coal mines,' rates could not
be charged on any other mine other that coal mines.
Noscitur a sociis
The meaning of a word is to be gathered from the context in which it is written.
CASE: Muir V Keay (1975) the noscitur a sociis was applied. The court held that
drinking coffee late at night was part of entertainment.


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