Extrinsic Aids

  • Created by: erw16
  • Created on: 17-12-18 17:48

Extrensic aids are aids that are outside of the act and include:

The historical context of the Act, for example the Offences Against the Person Act 1861 uses the word 'grievous'; this word is no longer in common usagee, but it was when the law was drafted.

Dictionaries of various kinds, these are the most obvious aid in finding out what a word means. Nonetheless, there use does not always provide a clear answer. Judges who use the literal rule may prefer to use a dictionary from the time that the relevant Act(s) were passed. For example in R v Dovermoss, the court used a dictionary to conclude that "polluting matter" does not have to be posinous in order to be convicted of pollution. 

Academic authorities, Judges can refer to authoritative textbooks and the views of legal scholars expressed in books and journals, to assist them in interpreting the words in a statute. In R v Bentham, the court used an article from the Cambridge Law Journal in support of his interpretation


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