Advantages/Disadvantages of the 3 rules in SI

This is a set of cards explaning the advantages and disadvantages of each of the 3 rules in Statutory Interpretation

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The Literal Rule


  • This rule follows the exact words of parliament and as parliament is our law-making body it is right that judges should apply the law exactly as it is written
  • Using the literal rule to interpret acts of parliament makes sure that unelected judges cannot make any laws
  • Using the literal rule makes the law more certain as the law will be interpreted exactly as it is written


  • The literal rule assumes every act is perfectly drafted
  • Some words have more than one meaning making the Act unclear
  • Using the literal rule can lead to unjust and absurd decisions
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The Golden Rule


  • It uses the exact words of parliament apart from limited situations and when there will be a problem with using the literal rule the golden rule provides an 'escape route'
  • If a word has more than one than one meaning the golden rule allows the judge to make the most sensible decision
  • It is an improvement of the literal rule


  • It is only used in rare occasions
  • It is hard to predict when the courts will use the golden rule
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The Mischief Rule


  • It looks at the gap in the law where the act was designed to cover and makes sure that the gap in the law is filled so it is more likely to produce a 'just' result
  • It allows judges to interpret the law in the way that parliament meant it to
  • The Law Commission recommended that thisrule be the only rule used in Statutory Interpretation


  • It allows the judges to use their own views on how to interpret the Acts
  • Judges do not always agree on the use of the mischief rule
  • It leads to uncertainty in the law
  • It makes it difficult for lawyers to advise clients on the law
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very good weldone :P



really good but do not forget to include the purposive approach

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