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Stat Con - Aids to Interpretation

Stat Con - Aids to Interpretation

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Categories:Types, Business/Law
Published by: Candy P. Caluya on Jun 19, 2012
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Aids to statutory interpretation
 
To assist judges in interpreting statutes there exist various aids thatthey may refer to. Aids to statutory interpretation are divided intointernal aids and external aids. These are sometimes referred to asintrinsic aids and extrinsic aids to interpretation.
 
Internal aids
 
Internal aids are those contained in the statute itself and consist of:
 
 
The long title of the Act
 
 
Explanatory notes
 
 
Other sections of the Act
 
 
Definition sections in the Act
 
 
Presumptions (see below)
 
 
Rules of Language (see below)
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Presumptions
 
Where a statute does not expressly provide otherwise, it ispresumed the following apply:
 
o
 
Statutes do not affect the monarch
 
o
 
Statutes do not operate restrospectively
 
 
o
 
Existing rights are not to be interfered with
 
o
 
Statutes do not change the common law
 
o
 
mens rea is required for criminal liability
 
 [1970] AC 132(Case summary)
 
Rules of language
 
There are three rules of language applied by the courts:
 
 
Ejusdem generis rule
 
 
Espressio unius est exclusio alterius
 
 
Noscitur a sociis
 
Ejusdem generis rule
 
This applies where a statute contains a list of items followed by and'other...'. When the courts are determining what is counts as 'other'they will look at the context of the things in the list. Eg a statutewhich states it applies to lions, tigers, cheetah and other animalswould apply also to leopards but not to a horse. See:
 
Powell v Kempton Park 
[1897] 2 QB 242 Case summary
Expressio unius est exclussio alterius
 
This means the express mention of one thing excludes all others. Soif a statute stated it applies to lions and tigers (without stating andother) it would only apply to lions and tigers and not leopards andcheetahs.
 
R v Inhabitants of Sedgely 
(1831) 2 B & Ad 65 Case summary
Noscitur a sociis
 
This applies where there is a list of items in the statute and the itemunder consideration is included in the list, but the context of theitems in the list suggest that the item should not be in the list. Eg if a statute stated it applied to cat baskets, toy mice, flea collars andfood, under this rule a loaf of bread would not be within the remit of the statute.
 
Inland Revenue v Frere
[1964] 3 All ER 796 Case summary
External aids
 

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