interpreting statutes

  • Created by: _marxlee
  • Created on: 11-01-18 18:03
why can there be conflicts and confusion over the words and meanings of the statutes?
Statutes are drafted by people-putting policy into legal form- subjective personal response by judges-use wisdom and professionalism
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whos it up to, to interpret and apply the law?
the courts
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what do the judiciary have the power to do?
interpret and apply legislation according to parliamentary sovereignty
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why might there be a need for statutory interpretation?
- ambiguity, drafting error, inadequate expression, new developments, changes in the meanings of words, words implied not used
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public space protection orders
effect homeless people and travellers- defines a space and says that within that space certain behaviour is restricted-vague legislation-based upon an area-less about behaviour
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what is the interpretation act 1978
guidelines for interpretation
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since what year have there been explanatory notes?
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what is the literal rule?
words that are plain and unambiguous’- literal meaning-not over analysing it- plain meaning-taking the words as they are
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what case is linked with the literal rule and what was the facts
Cutter v Eagle Star insurance co ltd- insurance under road traffic act 1988 covers cars not car parks. Even if its absurd, the literal meaning should be followed
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what is the positivism approach?
conservative and traditional- way of studying the law- law is the law and must be followed- issue= law might not be right-
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what is the golden rule?
literal wording should be followed unless it causes an absurd outcome contrary to the intention of parliament-parliament not normally intend to create absurdity
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what is the narrow golden rule?
error- cant be correct- contradictory within the statute- R v Allen- illegal to be married to two people- bigamy- instead should be illegal to attempt to marry two people
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what is the wide golden rule?
the golden rule chooses between the best of two alternative meanings.
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what is the mischief rule?
came about over statutes of common law- What was the mischief and defect for which common law did not provide, what was common law before making the act, what remedy did parliament resolve for the common law
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what happened in corkey v carpenter?
s12 licensing act – carriage vs bike- trying to ensure people don’t drive under the influence of alcohol- riding a bicycle was within the mischief of the Act as the defendant represented a danger to himself and other road users.
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what happened in Royal College of Nursing v DHSS
ensure that abortions were done more safely- legal for nurses to carry out such abortions. The Act was aimed at doing away with back street abortions where no medical care was available.
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what is the purposive approach?
- legislation should be interpreted to achieve the purpose of the legislator- the general overall purpose of the statute- purpose as revealed in the act- wording of an act is interpreted in the lights of the purpose underlying it
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what was the legal ruling in pepper v hart?
hansard may be referred too.
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what is the teleological approach?
spirit of legislation can be considered- much broader than the purpose- connected with the interpretation of eu law/interpretation in civil law jurisdictions-
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what is proportionality?
balance between the restrictions imposed by a corrective measure and the severity of the nature of the prohibited act-
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what are intrinsic aids?
judge can look at other parts of the act to interpret a specific word or action- long and short title- can be looked at or used as an aid
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what does ejusdem generis mean?
general words follow specific words that form a class- the general words are to be read in the light of the specific words- Powell v Kempton Racecourse co 1899-
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what does Noscitur a sociis mean?
derive their meaning from, and so must be read subject to the context in which they appear- company it keeps
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Expressio unius est exclusio alterius-
to express one thing is to exclude others- Tempest v Kilner 1846- the mention of one or more things of a particular class, excludes silently all other members of the class.
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what are extrinsic aids?
external- historical setting of the provision-other statutes- official reports- treaties, international conventions- parliamentary materials- dictionaries- within the statute itself-text books- Hansard- academic writings
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what are presumptions?
give ordinary words their ordinary meaning-give technical words their technical meaning
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against what?
alteration of the common law, deprivation of liberty, property or interference with private rights, retrospective effect, binding the crown, criminal liability without mens rea, ousting the jurisdiction of the courts
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what are integral parts of the process of translating the volition of the electorate into rules which will bind themselves?
drafting, enactment and interpretation
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whos it up to, to interpret and apply the law?


the courts

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what do the judiciary have the power to do?


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Card 4


why might there be a need for statutory interpretation?


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Card 5


public space protection orders


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