Statutory Interpretation

All notes on statutory interpretation

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Statutory Interpretation
The e.g. "he" means "he"
Interpretation or "she" unless
otherwise specified
Act 1978
A singular noun
means singular or
plural as relevant
unless otherwise
specified
May be definition
section in the Act
The need for A broad term "type
statutory known as the pit
bull terrier" in
interpretation
Dangerous Dogs Act
1991
Ambiguity ­ if a
word has two or
more meanings
which is the one
that should be used
New developments
e.g. technology. In
Royal College of
Nursing V DHSS
1981 "medical
practitioner" now
includes nurse for
the purposes of
abortion. At the
time 1967, medical
practitioner meant
doctor
Changes in the use
of language : the
meaning of a word
might change, e.g.
the meaning of
"passenger" in
Cheeseman V DPP
1990
A drafting error
made by the
parliamentary
counsel who
drafted the original
bill, e.g. as a bill is
amended on its way
through parliament.
Fisher v Bell

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The Literal
Approach
Gives words their
grammatical meaning
(dictionary
definition)
Cases relating to R v Judges of The City of 1892 "if the words of an act
the Literal London Court are clear then you
must follow them
Approach
even though they lead
to a manifest
absurdity"
The court has nothing
to do with the
question whether the
legislature has
committed an
absurdity
LNER v Berriman 1946 Not `relaying or
repairing' track but
oiling points which
was classed as
maintenance
Leaves law making
to
Parliament/Respect…read more

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Whiteley v Chappell 1868 Defendant was Court held
charged under defendant was not
section of the law guilty as the dead
which made it an person is not able
offence to to vote in the
impersonate `any literal sense of the
person entitled to words.
vote'. The offender This made the
had impersonated a ruling absurd.
person who had died
but `entitled to vote'
London & North Eastern 1946 A railway worker The case
Railway Co.…read more

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Disadvantages…read more

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