Legal Aids

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Intrinsic Aids

  • Found within the statute itslef
  • The long and the short title of the Act. The Court can use either-The Law of Property Act 1925 or 'An act to consolidate the enactments relating the Conveyancing and the Law of Property in England and Wales'
  • The preamble- may indicate the purpose or the mischief act intended to remedy-very rare in modern acts. aka 'introduction'. Most acts rarely have one making harder to use the mischief rule.
  • Interpretation sections-in modern acts and show what all the words in the act mean
  • Schedules provide additional information
  • Marginal notes and headings-inserted before act sent for printing-if conflicts with words in the act then the act prevails
  • Punctuation
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Extrinsic Aids

  • External sources outside the Act
  • Mischief rule and Purposive apprach find extrinsic aids most useful
  • Undisputed aids
    • previous Acts of Parliament on the same topic
    • the historical setting (Smith v Hughes; Fisher v Bell)
    • earlier case law
    • dictionaries of the time (Cheesman v DPP)
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  • Official report of what was said in Parliamen when the Act was debated
  • Until Pepper v Hart (1993) courts couldn't refer to Hansard
    • Davis v Johnson (1979)-Lord Denning interpreting the Domestic Violence and Matrimonial Proceedings Act 1976 but overruled by the Law Lords in Pepper v Hart using the 1966 Practice Statement 
  • Pepper v Hart relaxes the rule that Hansard cannot be used
    • Can be used if:
      • Act is ambiguous, obscure or leads to an absurdity
      • Statement of the minister who introduced the bill
      • The statement of the minister is clear
  • Three Rivers District Council and others v Bank of England (no 2)(1996)-when courts are interpreting an Act that intorduces an international convention or EU directive into English law can look at ministeruak statements even if the Act is not ambiguous or obscure
  • Reason-have to use purposive apporach
  • Use of Hansard has increased costs
  • Even when consulted may not be useful
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Law Reform Reports

  • Produced by the Law Commission
  • Previously couldn't be referred to by the courts
  • 1975 Black Clawson Case-report could be used to discover the gap or mischief the law was designed to deal with
    • Extrinsic aid that can be used when applying the mischief rule
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International Conventions

  • Fothergill v Monarch Airlines LTD (1980)
    • convention should be referred to since the true meaning could've been lost in translation or in adapting it for our law
  • Explanatory notes and preparatory materials could also be considered
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