Rules of Language

Revision notes on sub-section of statutory interpretation

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  • Created on: 02-01-11 20:04
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Rules of language
Noscitur a sociis;
Words looked at in context with other words in the same section.
In inland Revenue Commissioners v Frere (19 65). Rule for "interest, annuities or other annual
interest", "interest" alone means interest paid however in context the other words imply
"interest" paid annually.
The ejusdem generis rule;
A specific list of words followed by general words.
The general words are limited to the same kind as the specific words.
There must be 2+ specific words.
In Powell v Kempton Park Racecourse. Charges were formed in concern with constructing an
outdoor better place. The act in concern claims about "house, room or other". The court
decided that these involved indoor areas & therefore the defendant couldn't be charged.
Another example would be Allen v Emmerson.
Expressio unuis exclusion alterius;
Rule applying to a list of words, with no general words included.
Only the specific words apply.
In Tempest v Kilner (18 49) there was a contract involving the sales of stocks & shares. The
Act stated "goods, wares & merchandise", involving no general words, therefore stocks &
shares were not included.


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