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Home Sourcesoflaw Aidstostatutoryinterpretation
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Revision Aidstostatutoryinterpretation

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Toassistjudgesininterpretingstatutesthereexistvariousaidsthatthey
mayreferto.Aidstostatutoryinterpretationaredividedintointernalaids
andexternalaids.Thesearesometimesreferredtoasintrinsicaidsand
Internet extrinsicaidstointerpretation.

Banking



Internalaids



Internalaidsarethosecontainedinthestatuteitselfandconsistof:
ThelongtitleoftheAct
Explanatorynotes
OthersectionsoftheAct
Find out more DefinitionsectionsintheAct

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Interpretation



Externalaids

Dictionaries
textbooks
Academicwritings
LawCommissionReports
Caselawfromotherjurisdictions
Hansard
PreviouslyreferencetoHansardwasnotallowedbythecourts:

DavisvJohnson[1978]2WLR553Casesummary


Howeverthispositionwaschangedin:


Pepper (Inspector of Taxes) v Hart [1993] AC 593 Case


summary


EuropeanConventionofHumanRights
SincetheintroductionoftheHumanRightsAct1998inOctober2000the
courts are now obliged as far as is possible to do so to interpret
legislationinlinewithConventionRightsunders.3(1)HRA1998.

The courts must also take into account any judgments made by the
EuropeanCourtofHumanRightsunders.2(1)HRA1998.

Otheraids

Presumptions

Whereastatutedoesnotexpresslyprovideotherwise,itispresumedthe
followingapply:

Statutesdonotaffectthemonarch
Statutesdonotoperateretrospectively
Existingrightsarenottobeinterferedwith
Statutesdonotchangethecommonlaw
mensreaisrequiredforcriminalliability

SweetvParsley[1970]AC132(Casesummary)




Rulesoflanguage


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Ejusdemgenerisrule

Expressiouniusestexclusioalterius
Nosciturasociis



Ejusdemgenerisrule

This applies where a statute contains a list of items followed by and
'other...'.Whenthecourtsaredeterminingwhatiscountsas'other'they
willlookatthecontextofthethingsinthelist.Egastatutewhichstates
itappliestolions,tigers,cheetahsandotheranimalswouldapplyalsoto
leopardsbutnottoahorse.See:

PowellvKemptonPark[1897]2QB242Casesummary




Expressiouniusestexclusioalterius


Thismeanstheexpressmentionofonethingexcludesallothers.Soifa
statutestateditappliestolionsandtigers(withoutstatingandother)it
wouldonlyapplytolionsandtigersandnotleopardsandcheetahs.See:


R v Inhabitants of Sedgely (1831) 2 B & Ad 65 Case


summary




Nosciturasociis



This applies where there is a list of items in the statute and the item
underconsiderationisincludedinthelist,butthecontextoftheitemsin
the list suggest that the item should not be in the list. Eg if a statute
stateditappliedtocatbaskets,toymice,fleacollarsandfood,underthis
rulealoafofbreadwouldnotbewithintheremitofthestatute.See:

Inland Revenue v Frere [1964] 3 All ER


796Casesummary




AidstoStatutoryInterpretation



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