Statutory Interpretation: Approaches

HideShow resource information

Literal Rule

  • Words in their ordinary grammatical meaning.
  • Advantages: leaves law making to Parliament and makes law more certain.
  • Disadvantages: assumes that every Act is perfectly drafted; words have more than one meaning, can lead to absurd results and can lead to unjust decisions. 
  • Case: LNER v Berriman
    Not ‘relaying or repairing’ track, but was oiling points (maintenance) Literal response – held maintenance was not within the literal meaning of the words ‘relaying or repairing’ and therefore couldn't claim compensation. 

Golden Rule

  • Can choose best interpretation of ambiguous words OR avoid an absurd/repugnant result.
  • Advantages: respects the words of Parliament as only used in limited situations and avoids the worst problems of the literal rule.
  • Disadvantages: can only be used in limited situations, a ‘feeble parachute’ – Zander.
  • Case:  R v Allen
    ‘Marry’ meant to go through a…



really good just keep the text in the same editing format, it will be more appealing to the eye

Similar Law resources:

See all Law resources »See all Statutory interpretation resources »