English Legal System

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  • Created on: 08-01-16 21:09
Dictionary of Law definition of Statututory Interpretation (SI)
Where a statute's word are not clear or not certain, the courts may be called upon to interpret them
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Define SI in 2 phrases
Judicial Process, Determining the true meaning of Acts of Parliament
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Why do statutes require interpretation ?
Certain words in the statute can be misconstrued being ambiguous thus evoking certain actions in individuals
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According to Lord Hailsham, how many cases reach the House of Lords (HofL)(give Legal Authority (J V M)) ?
In the case JOHNSON V MORETON 1980 AC 27 Hailsham says 90% of cases reach the HofL revolving around the issue of statutory interpretation
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What are the 5 reasons for possible unclear statutes?
Drafting errors, Broad terms (the scope and limitations have to be determined), More than one meaning in the english dictionary, Meanings of the words changes over time, Legislation may be applied to cases that wasn't originally intended
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Which aids are available for the Judges to use in order to interpret statute?
Judges must decide with instruments of aid are relevant depending on the case: Rules (Literal, Golden, Mischief), Presumptions, Rules of Language, Intrinsic and Extrinsic aids, Interpretation Act 1978
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What is the definition of an Intrinsic Aid?
Devices that can be found in statutes themselves in order to help with interpretation
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What counts as Intrinsic Aid?
The long title ( sets out the purpose of the statute), Preamble (establishes the statutes legislative background), Schedules (within the act itself), Interpretation sections (sections explaining/defining particular words/phrases within context
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Give two examples of the Interpretation Sections ?
Section 34 THEFT ACT 1968 defines the word 'goods', Section 2 DATA PROTECTION ACT 1998 defines the phrase 'sensitive personal data'
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What is the definition of an Extrinsic Aid?
Devices that can be found in materials outside the statute that requires interpretation
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What counts as Extrinsic Aid?
Dictionaries, Explanatory notes, White papers, Official Law reform agency reports, Previous Acts covering the same topic, The Hansard
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Explain Dictionary as an Extrinsic Aid (give Legal Authority (V v V, molesting))
Dictionaries contain the original meaning of words used in the statute and alternative meaning also (if necessary). VAUGHAN V VAUGHAN 1973 A former husband was imprisoned for 6 months for molesting his ex wife, 'molest' = 'cause trouble, vex'
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Explain the Hansard as an Extrinsic Aid (give Legal Authority (D V J))
The official daily record of Parliamentary debates (record of legislative process) DAVIS V JOHNSON 1979 Lord denning was rebuked for using the Hansard to justify interpretation for the Domestic Violence and Matrimonial Proceeding Act 1976
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Why did the HofL rebuke Lord Denning and why was the rule against the Hansard dropped? (give Legal Authority (x 2))
They deemed Lord Denning's behaviour as unacceptable in his claim that it was ridiculous to ignore an 'obvious source of enlightenment'. PEPPER V HART 1993 this rule was dropped as the intention of the minister was clarified (s63 Finance Act 1976)
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What is the definition of Presumptions ?
A state of affairs that is deemed to exist or to have been intended by Parliament
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Give 3 examples of Presumptions? (give Legal Authority (bigamy))
Pre-existing common law still applies LEACH V R 1912 (s4(1) Criminal Evidence Act 1898) wife was not compellable to be witness to her husbands bigamy (his conviction was dropped), Against the deprivation of Liberty, Laws not changed retrospectively
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What does the Interpretation Act 1978 stipulate?
s6 stipulates : any act unless CONTRARY INTENTION appears, words importing masculine include feminine, " feminine includes masculine, singular includes plural and vice versa. This would not apply to a statute like Abortion Act 1967
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What are the 3 latin phrases in Rules of Language ?
Ejusdem geneus, Expressio unius personae vel rei est exclusio alterius, Noscitur a sociis
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What is meant by 'Ejusdem geneus'? (give Legal Authority (tattersall's ring))
Items in a list are similar, for example the word 'other things' in 'cats, dogs etc' refer to domesticated animals, POWELL V KEMPTON PARK RACECOURSE 1899 , Betting Act 1853 'house, office, room or other place' = restriction indoors not outdoors.
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What is meant by 'Expressio unius personae vel rei est exclusio alterius'? (give Legal Authority ('stocks and shares))
Legislation only includes words explicitly listed, the phrase 'and others' doesn't apply or refer to anything, TEMPEST V KILNER 1846 , s 17 Statute of Frauds 1677 applied 'good, wares, merchandise' to 'stock and shares'
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What is meant by 'Noscitur a sociis'? (give Legal Authority (intrest))
Meaning of the word can be deduced from its context INLAND REVENUE V FRERE 1964, Income tax Act 1952 schedule 24 'interest, annuities or other annual payments' included short term and annual payments.
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What are the three types of Rules/Approach's to interpreting statutes ?
Literal Rule, Golden Rule, Mischief Rule (judges don't methodically apply these rules, as each rule could lead to a different interpretation)
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What is the Literal rule? (give Legal Authority F V B, W V C))
The intention of Parliament can be found in the ordinary meaning of the word/s used. FISHER V BELL 1960 literal rule 'offer for sale' was interpreted as 'an invitation to treat' in contract law thus he wasn't convicted, WHITELEY V CHAPELL 1868(fraud)
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What are the two forms of the Golden rule? (give Legal Authority (R V A))
1. Literal rule produces absurdities, thus judges should look for alternative meanings to avoid this, 2. if there are several meanings the courts can substitute a reasonable interpretation, R V ALLEN 1872, s57 Offences against the Person Act 1861
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The case Re Sigworth 1935
To avoid the perpetrator benefiting from his crime, inheriting this mothers estate despite murdering her
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What are the Heydon's Case 1584 guidelines?
1. What the common law was at the time of the Act, 2. The mischief, problem or defect the common law didn't cover that the statue is trying to remedy, 3.What remedy has been implemented, 4.The true reason for the remedy
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What is the Mischief rule? (give Legal Authority (E V G))
The courts takes into account the gap in the law that the statue intend to fill and interpret it to suppress mischief. ELLIOT V GREY 1959 appealed against s 35 Road Traffic Act 1930, 'use' = 'having the use of' , preventing the mischief of accidents
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Card 4

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According to Lord Hailsham, how many cases reach the House of Lords (HofL)(give Legal Authority (J V M)) ?

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Card 5

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