G152 Statutory Interpretation Flashcards.

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  • Created by: bananaaar
  • Created on: 13-04-14 13:45
Why do we need statutory interpretation?
Broad terms, new developments, changes in language, ambiguity or drafting errors.
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What did Lord Denning say to support the purposive approach in the Davis v Johnson case?
Some may say...that judges should not pay any attention to what is said in Parliament. They should ***** about in the dark for the meaning of an act without switching on the light. I do not accede this view.'
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What is Lord Simmonds's view on the purposive approach from the St. Mellon's case?
A naked usurpation o the legislative function under the thin disguise of interpretation.' (taking power from parliament and disguising it.)
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What i the Literal Rule?
The traditional rule of statutory interpretation used by passive judges (e.g. Lord Scarman/Simonds). Judges apply the plain, ordinary, grammatical meaning of the word, i.e. black letter law.
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Literal Rule cases?
Cheeseman (manifest absurdity result) - police men weren't literally 'passengers' as they were stationed. Whiteley v Chapel (absurd decision) - dead person wasn't literally entitled to vote.
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What did Michael Zander say about the literal rule?
'mechanical and divorced from the realities of life.'
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What is the Golden Rule?
Modification of the literal rule, created to avoid absurdities/harshness created by the literal rule. It is the literal rule unless it would lead to a repugnant decision.
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What does the golden rule do?
Gives words in acts slightly different meanings to remove absurdity or ambiguity.
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What is narrow interpretation with [case] law?
Where there is ambiguity in a statute, so the word is chosen to lead to the least absurd result. E.g. R v Allen the word 'marry' was ambiguous so they chose the meaning of ceremony of marriage.
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Wider interpretation meaning and example?
Golden Rule is used to avoid repugnant situation. E.g. Sigworth murdered mother and would inherit her money under literal rule.
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What does Michael Zander describe Golden Rule as?
'unpredictable safety net.'
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What is the mischief rule?
Oldest rule dating back to the 16th century, developed in [Hayden]'s case 1584. Judges look for the 'gap' or 'mischief' the act intended to cover and will interpret the act to cover the gap.
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What does the mischief rule look upon?
Backward looking on Parliament's intention - looks at the reason to why the act was written and uses extrinsic aids.
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Case law for mischief rule?
Royal College of Nursing - mischief was backstreet abortions so general medical practitioner did include nurse as it was still covering the 'gap'. Smith v Hughes - despite prostitutes not being 'in the street' they were still harassing men.
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What is the purposive approach?
Focuses on Parliament's intention (the purpose of the act, what they intended when it was written.) Modern Apprach adopted in 1970's. Judges take a contextual approach looking at the 'spirit of the law' (i.e. looking at bigger picture)
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Where do the purposive approach look to find meaning?
Outside of/behind the legislation to find its meaning - 'judges examine the purpose behind the statute rather than simply using the text of the statute itself.'
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Why is the purposive approach used?
For interpretting EU law where the EU law is non-specific so the judges must use the purposive approach. (e.g. EU law - simple drafts, broad terms and general principles are set out only. )
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Purposive approach case law?
Pepper v Hart - first case where Hansard was used. Registrar General exparte Smith - judges went against what was written in statute as to prevent crime that may have occurred as it wouldn't have been Parliament's intention.
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What is the ejusdem generis rule?
Where there is a list of general words followed by a general word, the general words are limited to the same kinds of things as the specific words. E.g. Allen v Emmerson.
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What happened in Allen v Emmerson 1994?
The court had to interpret the phrase of 'theatres and other places of amusement' and had to decide whether it applied to a funfair. It was decided that it did even though it wasn't the same as theatres.
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What is the expresso units exclusion alterius Rule?
The mention of one thing excludes the others. When there is a list of words that are not followed by a general word, the Act nay applies to the specific things stated. Tempest v Kilner 1846
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What happened in the case of Tempest v Kilner?
The courts had to consider whether the Statute of Frauds (which requires a contract for sale of 'goods wares and merchandise over £10 to be in writing) applied to a contract for the sale of stocks and shares. Not followed by general words so no.
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What is the Noscitur a sociis rule?
A word is known by the company it keeps. This is when a word must be looked at in context and interpreted accordingly. It involves looking at various words in the same section. E.g. Inland Revenue Commissioners v Frere 1965
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What happened in the Inland Revenue Commission v Frere Case 1965?
The case involved setting out rules for 'interest, annuities and other annual interest'. The use of the first 'interest' on its own could have meant any interest, but because of phrase 'other annual interest' they decided interest meant only annual.
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

What did Lord Denning say to support the purposive approach in the Davis v Johnson case?

Back

Some may say...that judges should not pay any attention to what is said in Parliament. They should ***** about in the dark for the meaning of an act without switching on the light. I do not accede this view.'

Card 3

Front

What is Lord Simmonds's view on the purposive approach from the St. Mellon's case?

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

What i the Literal Rule?

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

Literal Rule cases?

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
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