Statutory Interpretation

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  • Created on: 05-01-16 16:15

Literal Rule

The literal meaning of a word is taken into account in order for judges to interpret the meaning of Parliament:


LNER V Berriman: 'Repair and 'Relay' Berrimans wife wasnt granted compensation for her husbands death through oiling the train tracks. PM intention was for everyone to be protected regardless.

Porter 2006: 'in possession' He wasn't convicted as he couldnt enter his reycling bin so technically he wasnt in possession of indecent images of children.

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Golden Rule

This is applied when the literal rule leads to an absurdity


Re Sigsworth: 'next of kin' He killed his wife for inheritence. He wasnt granted compensation as he should benefit from his actions

Allen: Mrs Allen was charged with bigamy as she remarried whilst still married to Mr Allen. When he returned from sea she was charged. 2 meanings of the word marry

  • Legally marry
  • Marriage ceremony
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Mischief Rule

Looks at the old statute to ensure that the new statute remedies the mishcief of the statute. Heydons Case


Royal College of Nursing v DHHS: 'registered medical practitioner' was changed to include nurses as in todays society they can carry out safe abortion. Under The Abortion Act

Smith v Hughes: 'solicit in the street' under the Street Offense Act. Women were calling from windows and balconies. Widened the meaning in order to prevent men being enticed by men

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Purposive Approach

Looks at the spirit of the statute. Makes EU law into UK law, the statutes are written in broad terms so that they can be easily interpreted


Quinatavelle: Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act- 'embryo' Concerning babies that have been made through cloning

Tower Boot Co: Race Relations Act: 'course of employment' PM intented for employers to be liable for failure to prevent racial abuse in employment

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