Statutory Interpretation Cases

Cases for OCR LAW

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  • Created by: Emilyy_XD
  • Created on: 16-05-12 13:57

What Case? What Rule?

- Defendant charged with 'impersonating any person entitled to vote'

- Defendant had impersonated a dead person whose name was still on the voters' list

- Defendant not guilty as a dead person is not, in the literal meaning of the words, 'entitled to vote'

ǝlnɹ lɐɹǝʇıl

898⇂ llǝddɐɥɔ ʌ ʎǝlǝʇıɥʍ

1 of 22

What Case? What Rule?

- Defendant accuse of bigamy

- Under Offences against the Person Act 1861 it seemed to suggest he could not 'marry' as he was already married

- The Court interpreted the word 'marry' to mean going through with the ceremony rather than to become legally married

- Otherwise noone could be guilty if bigamy

- Defendant found guilty

ʍǝıʌ ʍoɹɹɐu - ǝlnɹ uǝploƃ

 uǝllɐ ʌ ɹ

2 of 22

What Case? What Rule?

- Street Offences Act 1959 made it an offence for a 'prostitute to loiter or solicit in the street or public place for the purpose of prostitution'

- Prostitutes were soliciting from private a balcony and windows but they were attracting the attention of men from the 'street'

- Judge said the Act had been passed to protect the public from being solicited by prostitutes

- As the public in the 'street' were being solicited it did not matter that the prostitutes were soliciting from a private house

- Defendants (Prostitutes) were found guilty

əlnɹ ɟəıɥɔsıɯ

0691 səɥƃnɥ ʌ ɥʇıɯs

3 of 22

What Case? What Approach?

- S was adopted, he was criminally insane and had a killed two people.

- He wanted access to his birth records in accordance with his right to it under the Adoption Act 1976

- He was denied access on the grounds of 'public policy'

- The court held that Parliament could not have intended to put the natural (birth) mother at risk = [High risk of S also killing her]

ɥɔɐoɹddɐ ǝʌısodɹnd

ɥʇıɯs ǝʇɹɐd xǝ - ןɐɹǝuǝƃ ɹɐɹʇsıƃǝɹ ʌ ɹ

4 of 22

What Case? What Rule?

- Section of an Act set out rules for 'interest or other annual interest'

- First use of the word 'interest' on its own could have meant any 'interest' paid, whether daily, monthly or annually.

- Due to the words 'other annual interest' in the section the court decided that 'interest' only meant 'annual interest'

sııɔos ɐ ɹnʇınɔsou

ǝɹǝɹɟ ʌ ɹǝuoı**ıɯɯoɔ ǝnuǝʌǝɹ puɐןuı

5 of 22

What Case? What Rule?

- The list 'goods, wares and merchandise' in the Statute of Frauds 1677 was not followed by any general words

- The words 'stocks and shares' were not mentioned in the Statute so it was a**umed they were excluded

snıɹǝʇןɐ oısnןɔxǝ snıun oı**ǝɹdxǝ

ɹǝuןıʞ ʌ ʇsǝdɯǝʇ

6 of 22

What Case? What Rule?

- Defendant was a shopkeeper charged with offering a flick knife for sale under the Restriction of Offensive Weapons Act 1959

- The flick knife was displayed in the shop window with a price tag on it, but the defendant hadn't actually sold it

- The technical legal meaning of 'offers for sale' meant that putting an article in a shop windows is not an 'offer to sell'

- Defendant found not guilty as he was not literally 'offering' the knife 'for sale'

ǝןnɹ ןɐɹǝʇıן

ןןǝq ʌ ɹǝɥsıɟ

7 of 22

What Case? What Rule?

- Defendant was a taxi driver, charged with 'plying for hire in any street' without a licence to do so

- The taxi was parked on a taxi rank station forecourt (private land)

- Defendant was found guilty as, although on private land, he was likely to get customers from the street

ǝןnɹ ɟǝıɥɔsıɯ

ƃuıןɹıʇs ʌ ןıɔunoɔ ɥƃnoɹoq ǝuɹnoqʇsɐǝ

8 of 22

What Case? What Rule?

- J worked for T___ B___ Co where he was subject to racial harassment by fellow workers 

- The court interpreted the Race Relations Act 1976 in a purposive way to hold the employer also liable for what happens in the workplace

ɥɔɐoɹddɐ ǝʌısodɹnd

oɔ ʇooq ɹǝʍoʇ ʌ sǝuoɾ

9 of 22

What Case? What Rule?

- The court held that it would be absurd if the words 'in the vicinity of a prohibited place' in the Official Secrets Act 1920 were to be interpreted as to actually exclude being 'in' a prohibited place

ʍǝıʌ ʍoɹɹɐu - ǝןnɹ uǝpןoƃ

 ǝƃɹoǝƃ ʌ ɹǝןpɐ

10 of 22

What Case? What Rule?

- Defendant charged with using a 'house, office, room or other place for betting'

- General words 'other place' were taken to mean other indoor places

-Defendant found not guilty because he had been operating from Tattersall's Ring, which is outdoors

ǝןnɹ sıɹǝuǝƃ ɯǝpsnɾǝ

ǝsɹnoɔǝɔɐɹ ʞɹɐd uoʇdɯǝʞ ʌ ןןǝʍod

11 of 22

What Case? - Hansard

- The House of Lords said judges may look at Hansard to help them establish Parliament's intentions when interpreting legislation

ʇɹɐɥ ʌ ɹǝddǝd

12 of 22

What Case? What Rule?

- Court held that the Administration of Estates Act 1925 should not be interpreted literally as this would have meant a man who had murdered his mother would inherit her money

- No ambiguity to the word 'issue' i.e next-of-kin so to avoid a repugnant outcome the Act was rewritten to say 'issue' was not entitled to inherit where they had killed the deceased

uoıʇɐɔıןddɐ ɹǝpıʍ - ǝןnɹ uǝpןoƃ

ɥʇɹoʍsƃıs ǝɹ

13 of 22

What Case? What Rule?

- The Wording of the Abortion Act 1967 provided that a pregnancy should be 'terminated by a registered medical practitioner' was in i**ue

- When the Act was pa**ed (1967) the procedure to carry out an abortion was such that only a doctor (registered medical practitioner) could do it

- From 1972 onwards, improvements in medical technique meant that the first part of the procedure was carried out my a doctor and the second part by nurses, without a doctor present

- Judges in the House of Lords decided in a 3:2 majority that it was lawful due to the Act being a remedy to backstreet/illegal abortions

- The policy of the Act was to broaden the grounds for abortion and to ensure they were carried out with proper skill in a hospital

ǝןnɹ ɟǝıɥɔsıɯ

**ɥp ʌ ƃuısɹnu ɟo ǝƃǝןןoɔ ןɐʎoɹ

14 of 22

What Case? What Approach?

- House of Lords used the _____ approach in deciding that organisms created my call nuclear replacement (CNR) came within the definition of 'embryo' in the Human Embryology and Fertilisation Act 1990

- The Act states that 'embryo means a live human embryo where fertilisation is complete'

- CNR was not possible in 1990 and the problem is that fertilisation is not used in CNR

ɥɔɐoɹddɐ ǝʌısodɹnd

ןɥʞn ǝʇɐʇs ɟo ʎɹɐʇǝɔǝs ʌ ǝןןɐʌɐʇuınb ɹ

15 of 22

What Case? What Rule?

- The court held that there must be at least 2 specific words in a list for this rule to operate

- The court interpreted the phrase 'theatres and other places of amusement' to decide if it applied to a funfair

- As there was only 1 specific word in the list, 'theatres', the court decided that a funfair did come under the general term 'other places of amusement' even though it was not the same kind as theatres

ǝןnɹ sıɹǝuǝƃ uǝpsnɾǝ

uosɹǝɯɯǝ ʌ uǝןןɐ

16 of 22

What Case? - Hansard

- It was made clear that Hansard could only be used to discover the meaning of the words in an Act of Parliament which were ambiguous

- Not to establish the reasoning of Parliament where there was no ambiguity in the words

ʇsnɹʇ ʎʇunoɔ ʇsɹıɟ ʌ uosןıʍ

17 of 22

What Case? - Hansard

- Showed that in interpreting law that was passed to give effect to an international convention or a European directive:

- Then Hansard can be used more widely and the courts may have to consider ministerial statements even if the Statute does not appear to be ambiguous or obscure

puɐןƃuǝ ɟo ʞuɐq ʌ ןıɔunoɔ ʇɔıɹʇsıp sɹǝʌıɹ ǝǝɹɥʇ

18 of 22

What Case? What Rule?

-  The widow of a railway worker tried to sue the railway company for compensation for her husbands death as a result of their 'failure to supply a look-out man' in accordance with their statutory duty when a worker was 'repairing or relaying' the track

- Mr _____ was 'maintaining' the line when he was killed and not 'repairing or relaying' the track

- Due to 'maintaining' not literally being the same as 'repairing or relaying' Mrs _____ lost the case

ǝןnɹ ןɐɹǝʇıן

uɐɯıɹɹǝq ʌ oɔ ʎɐʍןıɐɹ ǝuן

19 of 22

What Case? What Rule?

- Section of an Act used the word 'economic'

- The court had to decide whether or not GLC could run a cheap fare scheme on their transport systems, which would cause them to make a loss

- The court held that 'economic' meant being run on business line and ruled that the cheap fares policy not legal

- Not legal because it involved deliberately running the transport systems at a loss = not running it on business lines

sııɔos ɐ ɹnʇıɔsou

ɔןƃ ʌ ןıɔunoɔ ɥƃnoɹoq uopuoן ʎǝןɯoɹq 

20 of 22

What Case? What Rule?

- It was held that if the words of an Act are clear then they must be followed, 'even if they lead to a manifest absurdity'

ǝןnɹ ןɐɹǝʇıן

ʇɹnoɔ uopuoן ɟo ʎʇıɔ ǝɥʇ ɟo ǝƃpnɾ ʌ ɹ

21 of 22

What Case? - Hansard

- The Law Lords approved of the use of Hansard as an aid to interpretation


22 of 22


kerbee - jayd devoto


whats on here is okay but its two pages for  WHOLE TOPIC  whats wrong with you !!!

kirsty winterman


well i found this very useful :-)

kerbee - jayd devoto


well thats because your a thick get and all that you can get im guessing !!!

kirsty winterman


In English?

Former Member



kerbee - jayd devoto


hows about you be quiet and chew on your flower, mess with me and ill rip your petals off.

kirsty winterman


Buy some clothes you filthy animal



I hadn't finished it, it is now finished.

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