Statutory Interpretation.

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What is the Literal Rule?
Words are given their 'plain, ordinary literal meaning' even if it leads to an absurd outcome.
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What is a case example for the Literal Rule?
Whiteley v Chappell- Any person entitled to vote is interpreted literally- this does not include dead people.
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What is the Golden Rule?
This is an extension of the literal rule and is used by judges when using the literal rule would lead to an absurd outcome.
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What is the narrow approach?
When the words are ambigious and it is hard to see which meaning is approriate and the plain meaning would lead to an absurdity.
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What is a case example for the narrow approach?
R v Allen- Allen was accussed of bigamy. Marry had two possible meanings. The court concluded that the word 'marry' must mean 'go through a formal ceremony of marriage'.
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What is the broad approach?
Where the words have only one meaning but to give them that meaning would be wholly unacceptable.
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What is a case example for the broad approach?
Adler v George- Obstructing a member of the armed forces 'in the vicinity of a prohibted place'
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What is the mischief rule?
The court looks at the gap in the law which Parliament had felt it necessary to fill when passing the Act.
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What is Heydon's case?
The court should consider 4 things when attempting to interpret a statutory provision.
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What are the 4 rules in Heydon's case?
1)What was the common law before the Act was passed?2) What was the defect for which the law did not provide a remedy?3)What remedy does the Act attempt to provide to cure the defect?4) What is the true reason for the remedy?
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What is a case example for Heydon's case?
Royal College of nursing v DHSS- The Abortion Act- Termination had to be carried out by 'registered practitioners' the purpose of the Act was to ensure that abortions were carried out under clinical conditons.
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What is the purposive approach?
This goes beyond the mischief rule, the judge does not look to see what the problem was before the law but will decide what the they believe Parliament intended when passing the law.
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What is a case example for the purposive approach?
Jones v Tower Boot Co Ltd- The complainant suffered racial abuse at work- he claimed this was racial discrimination- 'In the course of employment'.
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What is Ejusdem generis?
Where general words follow specific words. e.g. 'cats, dogs and other animals' So the other animals refers to domestic animals such as hamsters.
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What is a case example for Ejusdem generis?
Powell v Kempton Park Race Course- Prohibited to keep a 'house, office or other place' for betting purposes. Other places referred to covered places.
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What are some advantages of Ejusdem generis?
Avoids the need for draftsmen, Also it allows the act to adapt to meet changes in society.
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What are some disadvantages of Ejusdem generis?
Not very predictable, and also gives the judges too much power as it allows them to make law.
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What is the Expressio unius est exclusion alterius?
Where particular words are used and these are not followed by general words. e.g. 'Warehouses and coal mines' this would not apply to any other type of mine such as tin/gold.
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What is the case example for Expressio unius est exclusion alterius?
Tempest v Kilner- 'goods, wares and merchandise' did not include stocks and sales, so the statute did not apply.
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What are some Adavantages and disadvantages of Expressio unius est exclusion alterius?
It is predictable, It respects the seperation of powers. However it isnt very flexible and cannot adapt. This can lead to unfair outcomes.
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What is Noscitur a sociis?
Reading the words in the context of the surrounding words 'floors, steps, stairs and passageways' would not apply to areas of storage.
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What is the case example for Noscitur a sociis?
Muir v Keay- All houses kept open at night for 'public refreshment, resort and entertainment' had to be licensed. Even though the cafe was not providing entertainment. Entertainment meant the reception and accomidation of people.
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What are some advantages and disadvantages of Noscitur a sociis?
No need for draftsmen so it can adapt. However it does not respect the seperation of powers.
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What are some advantages of the literal rule?
Respects Parliamentary sovereignty, leaves law-making to democratically elected Parliament.
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What are some disadvantages of the literal rule?
Produces absurd/unjust outcomes, words may be ambigious.
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What are some advantages of the golden rule?
Prevents absurd/unjust outcomes, it allows judges to avoid repugnent situations e.g. Re Sigsworth.
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What are some disadvantages of the golden rule?
Too much power to the judiciary, Lacks clarity.
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What are some advantages of the mischef rule?
Avoids absurd/unjust outcomes, promotes flexibility.
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What are some disadvantages of the mischief rule?
Too much power to unelected judiciary, The rule is old, not always easy to identify the mischief.
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What are some advantages of the purposive approach?
Consistent with European approach, gives effect to Parliaments intentions.
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What are some disadvantages of the puposive approach?
Too much power to unelected judiciary, finding the intention of Parliament is not easy.
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What is Hansard?
This is the diary/record of parliamentary debates.
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Card 2

Front

What is a case example for the Literal Rule?

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Whiteley v Chappell- Any person entitled to vote is interpreted literally- this does not include dead people.

Card 3

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What is the Golden Rule?

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

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What is the narrow approach?

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Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

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What is a case example for the narrow approach?

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