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Literal Rule
Under this rule, the courts will give words their plain, ordinary or literal meaning, even if the result is not very sensible. This
idea was expressed by Lord Esher in R v Judge of the City of London Court (1892) when he said:

"It the words of an…

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Golden Rule:
This rule is a modification of the literal rule. The court is allowed to avoid an interpretation which would lead to an absurd
result. The narrow application of the golden rule, shown in Jones v DPP 1962:

"If they are capable of more than one meaning, then you…

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Mischief Rule:
This rule gives a judge more discretion than the previous two. The definition of the rule came from Heydon's case (1584),
where it was said there were four points the court should consider:

1. What was the common law before the making of the Act?
2. What was…

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Purposive rule (approach):
The purposive approach is the broadest rule, which can lead to justice in individual cases. It allows the law to cover more
situations than applying words literally. It basically searches for the purpose behind the Act, so is similar to the mischief
rule.

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