Statutory Interpretation

A Brief Intro To SI And what it Entails.

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  • Created by: Zakaria
  • Created on: 16-11-11 17:49
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Meaning Of the Term Statutory Interpretation:
Is the process by which courts interpret and apply legislation.
The judiciary interprets how legislation should apply in a particular case as no legislation
unambiguously and specifically addresses all matters. Legislation may contain uncertainties for a
variety of reasons:
Words are imperfect symbols to communicate intent. They are ambiguous and change in meaning
over time.
Unforeseen situations are inevitable, and new technologies and cultures make application of existing
laws difficult.
Uncertainties may be added to the statute in the course of enactment, such as the need for
compromise or catering to special interest groups.
Therefore, the court must try to determine how a statute should be enforced. This requires statutory
construction. It is a tenet of statutory construction that the legislature is supreme (assuming
constitutionality) when creating law and that the court is merely an interpreter of the law.
Nevertheless in practice, by performing the construction the court can make sweeping changes in the
operation of the law.
Zakaria Abraham 1

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Literal Rule:
The plain meaning rule dictates that statutes are to be interpreted using the ordinary meaning of the
language of the statute, unless a statute explicitly defines some of its terms otherwise. In other
words, the law is to be read word for word and should not divert from its ordinary meaning.…read more


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