If there is dispute over the meaning of a word or phrase in an Act of Parliament, the courts will need to decide the exact meaning of that word or phrase. This is known as 'statutory interpretation', and the judges have developed various rules and aid to help them with interpretation.
Some reasons for having Statutory Interpretation are:
1. A broad term;
3. A drafting error;
4. New developments;
5. Change in the use of language.
There are three rules and one approach to interpretation as follows:
· The Literal Rule;
· The Golden Rule;
· The Mischief Rule;
· The Purposive Approach.
Judges also use the three rules of language, which are:
· The ejusdem generis rule;
· Expressio unius exclusio alterius;
· Noscitur a sociis
Judges also use internal (intrinsic) aids and external (extrinsic) aids to interpretation to help them.
The rules (approaches) to statutory interpretation
The Literal Rule
Using this rule courts give words or phrases their plain, ordinary or literal meanings even if this results in an absurdity (Lord Esher, R v Judge of the City of London Courts 1892).
Whitely v Chappell
The defendant was charged…