AQA AS Law- Statutory Interpretation Key Term Meanings

Statutory Interpretation Key Term Meanings

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  • Created by: Michaela
  • Created on: 22-05-12 11:26

Statutory Interpretation Key Term Meanings

Ejusdem Generis Rule: Rule of interpretation aplies where several words precede a general word- commonly list of words. The meaning of the general word is restricted to the meaning of the preceding words, with the effect that the geeral words doesn't expand beyond the subjects or classes of preceding words. 

E.g "Cats, Dogs and other pets" probably excludes lions (as lions are not viewed as pets), but it is likely that "Cats, dogs and other animals" would include lions as the passage would include all animals but not plants. 

Extrinisic (External) Aids:  Aids found outside the Act that assist in providing an interpretaion, such as governmental guidance and any other external document or other evidence that a judge chooses to use. 

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Statutory Interpretation Key Term Meanings

Golden Rule: Ordinary words must be given their ordinary meanings and technical words their technical meanings, unless absurdity would result. 

Intrinsic (Internal) Aids: Any words within a statute that might assist in providing an interpretation.

E.g The preamble, the long and short title of the Act, any definition section. 

Literal Rule: Words or phrases in an Act that are reasonably capable of only one meaning must be given that natural or dictionary meaning whatever the result. The literal rule doesn't allow a judge to create a Law. It requires application of the law as stated by Parliament. 


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Statutory Interpretation Key Term Meanings

Mischief Rule: When an Act aims at curing defect in the law any ambiguity is to be resolved in such a way as to favour that aim. 

Purposive Approach: The approach that looks at the purpose of the legislation when deciding how to interpret it. It was adopted by Lord Denning. 

Statutory Interpretation: Interpretation of Acts of Parliament by the Judges


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Statutory Interpretation Key Term Meanings

Noscitur A Sociis: Literally "known by its associates". In statutory interpretation it is the rule that the meaning of a word may be ascertained by the context within which it appears. 

Expressio Unius Est Exclusio Alterius: This literally means the express mention of one thing excludes all others. In statutory interpretation it means that items not on the list are assumed not to be covered by the statute. 

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