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In order to declare and apply the law, judges have developed three main rules of interpretation (in
addition to the use of the Interpretation Act 1978) to support them in their work.

Explain and illustrate the literal rule (approach).
The literal rule means the judge reads the statute as a…

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The golden rule states that the literal rule should be followed unless it would lead to an absurd
decision which Parliament would not have intended. It is known as the safety valve and was
developed in Becke v Smith (1843). In Gray v Pearson Lord Wensleydale stated that "the

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statute were indoors, outdoor places were not included. Expressio unius est exclusio alterius
means the `express mention of one excludes others' and is used when it is a list of words only.
This means the law only applies to the words in the list, e.g., Tempest v Kilner the list…

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Judges do not question Parliament's wording of the statute but simply declare Parliament's true
intention by keeping to the words in the Act.

Also, the literal rule supports Montesquieu's theory of the Separation of Powers because the
judges are simply carrying out their role by declaring the meaning and are…

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the street. By using this rule, the judge should be declaring Parliament's true intention because
the meaning is derived from the reason. Additionally, the Law Commission pointed out in support
of the mischief rule that it is a "rather more satisfactory approach". It produces the most just

Disadvantages of…

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Intrinsic aids also agree with Parliamentary Sovereignty as the judges only consider what
Parliament has provided and do not question their law making by looking elsewhere. The recent
addition of Explanatory Notes from Acts made after 1999 are a very helpful aid as they explain
the purpose of the Act…


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