INTERNAL AIDS TO INTERPRETATION

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INTERNAL AIDS TO INTERPRETATION

Materials that may be considered by a judge both (1) in determining the primary meaning of the statutory words and (2) where there is ambiguity, in pointing the way to the interpretation that is to be preferred. These are aids found within the statute in question. 

OTHER ENACTING WORDS
An examination of the whole of a statute, or at least those Parts which deal with the subject matter of the provision to be interpreted, should give some indication of the overall purpose of the legislation.

LONG TITLE
The long title could be considered as an aid to interpretation. The long title should be read as part of the context.

PREAMBLE
When there is a preamble, it generally recites and gives a clear introduction to the statute.

SHORT TITLE
Question on whether the short title should be used to resolve doubt.

HEADINGS, SIDE-NOTES AND PUNCTUATION
Can be considered as part of the context. 

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EXTERNAL AIDS TO INTERPRETATION

External aids are aids which are external to the stature, they are found outside of the statute. 

HISTORICAL SETTING
Judge may consider historical settings of the provision that is being interpreted, eg - the newspaper.

DICTIONARIES AND OTHER LITERARY SOURCES
Dictionaries are commonly consulted as a guide to the meaning of statutory words. 

EXPLANATORY NOTES
Published alongside a new Act of Parliament to explain any ambiguities within the Act

OFFICIAL REPORTS
Legislation may be preceded by a report of a Royal Commission, the Law Commissions or some other official advisory committee. This kind of material may be considered as evidence.

TREATIES AND INTERNATIONAL CONVENTIONS
There is a presumption that Parliament does not legislate in such a way that the UK would be in breach of its international obligations.

PARLIAMENTARY MATERIALS
A court may not refer to Parliamentary materials for any purpose whatsoever connected with the interpretation of statutes, for example - reports of debates in the House and committee.

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