The use of a general term at the end of a list which takes its meaning from the words surrounding it.
Example: (Re Stockport Ragged, Industrial and Reformatroy Schools) decided other schools was limited to church schools as all the other schools listed were church schools.
Strength: Draftsman doesnt have to write a detailed list and the act can cover circumstances not foreseen by parliament.
Weakness: Makes cases unpredictable as theact doesnt specify what can be included.
Noscitur a sociis
A word can be interpreted by the context of the act as a whole.
Example: (Muir v Keay) the court decided “entertainment” did not mean musical entertainment but the reception and accommodation of people.
Strength: Law is flexible, no need for draftsman to foresee every circumstance.
Weakness: Allows judicial law making and is undemocratic.
Expression unius est exclusio alterious
A completed list, which cannot be added to with no general term at the end.
Example: (R v Inhabitants of Sedgley) use of the words ‘lands, houses and coalmines’ excluded application to other types of mine.
Strength: Cases are more predictable and judges have less scope to change the law.
Weakness: Inflexible, no scope for act to change and develop to new circumstances.