Aids to Interpretation

Examples of Intrinsic and Extrinsic Aids to interpretation

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Intrinsic Aids

Intrinsic Aids

- Aids found within an Act

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Intrinsic Aids

Long/Short Title

  • Abortion Act 1967 - "An Act to amend and clarify the law relating to termination of pregnancy by registered medical practitioners"

Preamble

  • Sets out the purpose of the Act in detail

Schedules

  • Additions to the main body of text which can be used to make sense of the main body of text

Definition Section

  • Explains the meaning of key words in the Act

Punctuation

  • Recognised to have an effect on the meaning of words
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Advantages & Disadvantages of Intrinsic Aids

Advantages & Disadvantages of Intrinsic Aids

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Advantages & Disadvantages of Intrinsic Aids

  • The long and short titles of Acts are of limited use
  • The preamble is only really good for the Mischief Rule and the Purposive Approach
  • The definition section is extremely useful for definining certain words
  • There is a doubt whether punctuation should be used as it was not used in Acts before 1850
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Extrinsic Aids

Extrinsic Aids

- Aids found outside the Act

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Extrinsic Aids

Dictionaries

  • Used to look up the meaning of words - Vaughn v Vaughn

Previous Acts

  • Used to interpret an Act using the previous Act - Wheatly

Interpretation Act 1978

  • Provides definition off words commonly found in Acts

Reports of Law Reform Bodies

  • These reports highlight what is wrong with old laws

Hansard

  • Reports of Parliamentary debates. Available to Judges since Pepper v Hart

Textbooks

  • Can be used for guidance - Re Castioni
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Advantages & Disadvantages of Extrinsic Aids

Advantages & Disadvantages of

Extrinsic Aids

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Advantages & Disadvantages of Extrinsic Aids

  • Dictionaries are useful when using the Literal Rule
  • Other Acts can be useful when using the Mischief Rule
  • Interpretation Act 1978 is useful for interpreting words or phrases, but not as good for technical words
  • Hansard is useful when using the Purposive Approach as it shows Parliament's intentions
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