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Law Revision Notes ­ G152 Statutory Interpretation
It is the role of the judge to interpret the wording of statutes which may be
unclear. There are certain approaches which a Judge may use to help him with his
interpretation. The Judge's aim is to see the intention of Parliament.

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LNER v Berriman (1946)
o Railway worker killed whilst doing maintenance work on a railway line. Widow tried to
claim compensation as no look out man had been provided as stated under the Fatal
Accidents Act.
o The Act stated a look out is needed for `relaying or repairing' and…

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When there is only one meaning for the words but this will lead to a repugnant situation. In these
cases the court will use the Golden Rule to modify the words of a statute.

Re Sigsworth (1935)
o Sons had murdered his mother, and as she hadn't left a will…

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o Women convicted appealed that they were not `in a street' ­ one had been on a balcony
and others in the windows of ground floor rooms, trying to attract the attention of men
by tapping on the windows.
o The court decided they were guilty as the Act intended…

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Extrinsic aids such as Hansard and law reports can be used to find the intention of Parliament.

Fitzpatrick v Sterling House Association (1999) Using the purposive approach, the House of
Lords ruled that a tenancy could be transferred to a same sex partner as they are the equivalent
of a…

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Used in Powell v Kempton Park Racecourse (1899) charged with `keeping a house, office,
room or other place for betting'. However his betting took place outside, and as the other
places In the list are indoors, it is presumed `other place' is also indoors. Found not guilty.
Must be at…

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o Sweet v Parsley (1970) D. was not aware her tenants were smoking cannabis so did
not have the mens rea to be convicted of `managing premises which were used for the
purpose of smoking cannabis'

3) A presumption that the Crown is not bound by any statute (unless the…

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o Previous Acts on the same topic
o The historical setting
o Earlier case law
o Dictionaries of the time

Aids allowed due to recent changes in attitudes:

Hansard ­ the official report of what was said in Parliament when the Act was debated
o Davis v Johnson (1978) ­…


Vicky Hendry - Team GR


Great resource, thanks!

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