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Contents:
Approaches to interpretations:
o Literal rule
o Golden rule
o Mischief rule
o Purposive approach
Aids to interpretation:
o Rules of language
o Internal (intrinsic) and External (extrinsic) aids
Advantages and disadvantages of the different
approaches and aids to statutory interpretation…read more

Slide 3

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What is statutory interpretation (SI)?
· SI considers the
ways that judges
acts (statutes)
made by Parliament
· They use the
`Unwritten Rules'…read more

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Why do we need SI?
· All statutes should be clear and unambiguous ­
but this is not always the case
· Certain `aids' are sometimes built into statutes to
help with interpretation e.g. Interpretation
sections ­ the Theft Act 1968, S.1 defines `theft'
as "dishonestly appropriating property belonging
to another with the intention of permanently
depriving the other of it"
· S.2 ­ 6 defines the key words (dishonestly,
appropriation, etc)…read more

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Why do we need SI?
· Cases come before a court because of a dispute
over the meaning of a law ­ the parties ask the
court to interpret and rule
· The meaning of the law may be unclear because
of:
­ A broad term
­ Ambiguity
­ A drafting error
­ New developments
­ Changes in the use of language…read more

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A Broad Term
· Words used in an Act to cover several possible
meanings
· Remember the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991
referred to "any dog of the type known as pit bull
terrier" ­ what does this actually mean? Can we
substitute `breed' for `type'?
· Brock v DPP (1993) said not ­ `type' has a much
wider meaning and can cover dogs with the
characteristics of a pit bull terrier not necessarily
the pedigree breed.…read more

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