INTERPREATION OF STATUTES

A. Course Introduction and Objectives
Introduction When the oral dictates of the Rex1 created confusions as to what exactly the law is, he decided to write it down. Nevertheless, written law was not the panacea for the kingdom for the very fact that it was written in words that have the inherent quality of indeterminacy. The written law led to the necessity of interpretation of law and multiple understandings. Interpretation in the context of this course is the act of ascribing meaning to the written word. We do it all the time, mostly without even realizing it. The words get its meaning from the context in which it is used. Let us try “Exams are over; I am going to chill out” “The spooky movie gave me a chill yaar” “Hey don’t sulk, chill mate…” In none have we used the word ‘chill’ with the ordinary dictionary meaning of the term. The meaning of ‘chill’ is derived from what the speaker has intended, the associated words supply, and the way and circumstances in which it is uttered. When law is written in words this problem of indeterminacy of language is sure to bother that someone in authority has to interpret what the law means. And we thought by making all laws written, we have untied a knot, perhaps, we were creating more complex knots. No illustration here can surpass the ‘no vehicles in the park’2 dilemma. The course on interpretation of statutes is right there to help you to understand the problem, search for solutions that have already occupied the field of interpretation of statutes and to generate better solutions with our creativity to navigate the labyrinthine process of understanding the meaning of law. The exercise of interpretation of statutes is done at various planes. 1) By the object of the law; the people who are to abide by the law. We try to understand what the law requires us to do or refrain from doing and modulate our behaviour. 2) By the executive, who attempts to implement the law and 3) by the judiciary that enforces the law. It is the third level that authoritatively proclaims what a particular law means. Different schools of thought occupy the field of statutory interpretation. They range from the conservative understanding of giving plain meaning to the words of the statutes, attributing meaning according to the intention of the legislature to the most

1

The imaginary King Rex, who attempted to make perfect laws but failed in eight ways. See, Lon. L. Fuller, The Morality of Law, Yale University Press, 1977, Pp 33-94 2 H.L.A Hart, The Concept of Law, OUP, 1961, Pp 123-26

1

OBJECTIVES 1. for which we will be focusing on the interpretation of fiscal statute. The course will cover a wide array of areas relating to interpretation. (No pun intended) The third module (I have confession to make here) is mostly not interpretation of statutes. dynamically orienting the meaning to the current day needs even disregarding what might have been the intention of the legislature. which I am sure will be a rehash for you. theory and practice just complement each other. We will moor the entire learning by far in certain theoretical premises. I assure that it is exciting to find that in Interpretation of Statutes course. Familiarization of the basic canons and principles of interpretation of statutes 3. Get you more closer to your career goals 2. B. just think how many times you have tried to interpret the hostel rules and give meaning to it to suit your convenience. The last module is the anchor of the interpretation business so far done in the course. The second module details the basic principles of interpretation. The module is titled ‘Applied Principles of Interpretation’ (have you noticed how cleverly the word ‘statute’ is made missing from the module caption). It does involve application of the basic principles of statutory interpretation that we learned in the second module.radical of all. which I consider vital for the kind of work most of you are likely to land up in. The first module will introduce the subject – Interpretation of Statutes. COURSE STRUCTURE Module I: Introduction to Interpretation • • • Difference between Interpretation and Construction (?) The Language Problem in Interpretation Recent Trends in Interpretation 2 . If nothing else. Then we take a leap outside the realm of statutory interpretation and learn something about interpretation of contracts and treaties. Don’t be put off by the word theory. Equip you with the practical knowhow of interpretation in selected fields of law 4. who have been interpreting and applying statutes for the past three years of your law school life. Generate a theoretical understanding of the subject that will develop skills to deal with areas that may not be taught in the course C.

.. 10th edn. Tipathi. Jeremy Waldron. c.S Bindra’s Interpretation of Statutes. 73. 1976 2.N Rao. Principles of Statutory Interpretation. Beneficial Construction g. f. 2010 Articles 1. Butterworths Wadhwa.pdf Module II: Basic Principles of Statutory Interpretation • • Canons of Construction Basic Principles of Interpretation a.com/signingstatements/CRS/CRS-ON-97589. Harmonious Construction f. 12th edn. Lexis Nexis Butterworths 2007 3. Wash. Report for Congress. e. Q 1095 2. U. Statutory Interpretation: General Principles and Recent Trends. Intentionalist Construction d. J Langan. b.Rev. Maxwell on The Interpretation of Statutes. Vagueness in Law and Language: Some Philosophical Issues. 2006. Amita Dhanda. George Costello. P. Restrictive Construction • Internal Aids to Construction a.Readings Books 1. 82 Cal. G. available at http://www. St. The Ambiguity of Interpretation: Distinguishing Interpretation from Construction. Peter M.50 3. L. Tiersma. Literal Construction b.L.. Long Title Preamble Headings Marginal Notes Punctuation Definition Clause 3 . Congressional Research Service. Mischief Rule c. M. Purposive Construction e. 12th edn. d. N.P Singh.coherentbabble.

S Bindra's Interpretation of Statutes. b. Schanck. i. Libr.. 2010 3. Butterworths Wadhwa. Principles of Statutory Interpretation. N. WL. 10th edn. Interpretation of Contracts iii. Cal. Nunez. 2007 Articles 1.. • a. 12th edn. J. 10th edn. G. h. b. An Essay on the Role of Legislative Histories in Statutory Interpretation. Amita Dhanda. and Interpretation. Nature of Legislative Intent and the Use of Legislative Documents as Extrinsic Aids to Statutory Interpretation. N Rao.g. Lexis Nexis Butterworths. Interpretation of Treaties 4 .. Codified Canons and the Common Law of Interpretation. c. e. L. St. 1976 2. P.. JL& Pub Pol'y. Dictionaries. J Langan. Tipathi. Rev.. Law. 1994 17: 71 Context in Statutory 4. d.PDF 2. 1072 9: 128 3. Readings Books Proviso Explanation Illustration Schedules Parliamentary History Context Later Developments Dictionaries Foreign Judgments Non Obstante Clause Causus Omissus Contemporanea Exposito External Aids to Construction Subsidiary Rules of Interpretation 1. c. Randolph. Plain Meaning. Harv. Maxwell on The Interpretation of Statutes. j. Fiscal Statutes ii. 1988 90: 391 Module III: Applied Principles of Interpretation i. P Singh. • a.georgetownlawjournal.com/issues/pdf/98-2/Scott. available at http://www. M. Jacob Scott.

N Rao. 4th edn. 57 U. Thomas L. 2004 Module IV . Butterworths Wadhwa. Rev. L. McCubbins. Farber. Universal. Theory and Reality In Statutory Interpretation.S Bindra's Interpretation of Statutes. Daniel A. Ronald Dworkin. 10th edn. available at. Interpretation of Fiscal Statutes in India. 15 St.J. 78 Geo. 1409 2. Theories Of Statutory Interpretation: Statutory Interpretation and the Intentional(ist) Stance. Cheryl Boudreau. Aharon Barak. A Matter of Interpretation.. Kim Lewison. L. Sukumar Mukhopadhyay. Rev. The Interpretation of Contracts. P Singh.. 2007 4. Antonin Scalia (ed. Princeton University Press. Sweet & Maxwell. 2006 2. 1998 4. 2131 (2005) 4. 94 Nw. 2nd edn. Lexis Nexis Butterworths. 5. U. Legislation and Statutory Interpretation. and Daniel B. Farber. G. 2007 3. M.com/abstract=1318640 of Interpretivism. Centex Publications. Principles of Statutory Interpretation. Rev.). 12th edn. 1999 2. Intentionalist Theories ii. Dynamic Theories Readings Books 1. Harold P. Harvard University Press. 2010 3. Statutory Interpretation and Legislative Supremacy. Amita Dhanda. Cin. Foundation Press.. Limits http://ssrn. L. Mathew D.A. Richard Primus. 281 Antonin Scalia..L. 6. William N. Daniel A. Laws Empire. N. Eskridge. Originalism: The Lesser Evil. 1 (2002) 3. Textualist Theories iii. Purposive Interpretation in Law. Rodriguez. Do Theories of Statutory Interpretation Matter? A Case Study.Theoretical Foundations of Statutory Interpretation i. Southerland. L. Rev. 849 (1989) 5 . 1986 Articles 1. 38 Loy.Readings Books 1.

Pp 1.43 Articles 1. 38 Loy. Rev. L. J Langan. L. Jr. 1976. 64 U. Pa. Principles of Statutory Interpretation. Statutory Interpretation: General Principles and Recent Trends. Anthony D'Amato.P Singh. 10th edn. 50 3. Rev. Andrei Marmor. Peter M.coherentbabble. St.A. L. L. L. 911 (1996) 7. Pp 1. Eskridge. N. Rev. George Costello. Dynamic Statutory Interpretation. 38 Loy. 135 U. Report for Congress.pdf 6 . William N. L. Rev. 73. P. Butterworths Wadhwa. 12th edn. The Injustice of Dynamic Statutory Interpretation. 1479 (1987) 10. Amita Dhanda.Lawrence M. 2063 (2005) 9. Cin. 12th edn.S Bindra’s Interpretation of Statutes. M. Tiersma. The Ambiguity of Interpretation: Distinguishing Interpretation from Construction. Lexis Nexis Butterworths. L. Maxwell on The Interpretation of Statutes. 2027 (2005) 8. U.27 2. 82 Cal. Q 1095 2. Theories of Statutory Interpretation: The Immorality of Textualism.. Congressional Research Service. Tipathi.A. G. Pp 4 .com/signingstatements/CRS/CRS-ON-97-589. Solan. WEEKLY READING SCHEDULE WEEK 1 Introduction to Interpretation • • • Difference between Interpretation and Construction (?) The Language Problem in Interpretation Recent Trends in Interpretation Readings Books 1.22 3.. http://www. L.N Rao. Rev. Jeremy Waldron Vagueness in Law and Language: Some Philosophical Issues. Wash. D. 2006. Theories Of Statutory Interpretation: The New Textualists' New Text..

313 G. Butterworths Wadhwa 2006. 3-61. 403. Mischief Rule c. Harmonious Construction f. 1994 17: 71 WEEK 4 and 5 • Internal Aids to Construction a. Pp. 85-152 M. 105. P Singh. 341. Purposive Construction e.. f. c.136. N Rao. 92. available at http://www. Jacob Scott. Plain Meaning. b. Principles of Statutory Interpretation. h.91. 1976 Pp 28-75. g.104. Codified Canons and the Common Law of Interpretation.georgetownlawjournal. Amita Dhanda. 3.com/issues/pdf/98-2/Scott. 2. 669. Lexis Nexis Butterworths.WEEK 2 and 3 Basic Principles of Statutory Interpretation • • Canons of Construction Basic Principles of Interpretation a. 2007. and Context in Statutory Interpretation. Pp. Randolph. Intentionalist Construction d.. 264.. Beneficial Construction g. 12th edn.. d.S Bindra's Interpretation of Statutes.372. Tipathi. JL& Pub Pol'y.PDF 2. e. Long Title Preamble Headings Marginal Notes Punctuation Definition Clause Proviso Explanation 7 .684 Articles 1. N. Literal Construction b. Restrictive Construction Readings Books 1. 10th edn.345. St. 316.431. P. 12th edn. J Langan. Dictionaries. Maxwell on The Interpretation of Statutes. 76. Harv.

Readings Books 1. Libr. Schanck. 1994 17: 71 Context in Statutory Parliamentary History Context Later Developments Dictionaries Foreign Judgments 3.218 WEEK 6 and 7 • External Aids to Construction a. Principles of Statutory Interpretation. N Rao. 10th edn.S Bindra's Interpretation of Statutes. 219.. Principles of Statutory Interpretation. L. An Essay on the Role of Legislative Histories in Statutory Interpretation. j.i. b. Nature of Legislative Intent and the Use of Legislative Documents as Extrinsic Aids to Statutory Interpretation.. Law. WL. Randolph. 12th edn. 2010. Lexis Nexis Butterworths. 2010. Dictionaries. Plain Meaning. Butterwoths Wadhwa. e. P Singh. Harv. 804.. JL& Pub Pol'y. Non Obstante Clause b. 914.934 Articles 1. N. c. Readings Books Illustration Schedules 1. 1988 90: 391 WEEK 8 • Subsidiary Rules of Interpretation a. Amita Dhanda. 349-355 2. 2007. 1072 9: 128 2. Cal. M.297. 12th edn. P Singh. Pp. 155. Casus Omissus c. and Interpretation. J. Rev.858. Contemporanea Exposito 8 . Butterworths Wadhwa. Nunez. d. Pp. G. G.. Pp..

com/link/oxford-legal-studies. P Singh. 2007. Lexis Nexis Butterworths. 1094-1145. available at http://www.. Pp. 2010. 1261-1397 WEEK 10 Interpretation of Contracts Readings Book 1. OUP.ssrn. Pp. 75-80. 3. N Rao. 4th edn. 12th edn. Working Paper No. Principles of Statutory Interpretation. 741. Interpretation of Fiscal Statutes in India. Pp..Readings Book 1. Centex Publications. Pp.376. Principles of Statutory Interpretation. 5. Butterworths Wadhwa: 2010. Butterworths Wadhwa. 364. 2. WEEK 11 Interpretation of Treaties Readings Treaty 1.S Bindra's Interpretation of Statutes.html Articles 1. G. Book 1. 10th edn. 81-182 G. 7/2007 May 2007.. Kim Lewison. 12th edn. P Singh.790 M. 1999. Interpretation of Contracts: Concluding Comparative Observation. 341. University of Oxford Faculty of Law Research Paper series. Richard Gardiner.348 WEEK 9 Applied Principles of Interpretation Fiscal Statutes Readings Books 1. 67-75. 2008 The Vienna Convention on the Law of the Treaties – Section 3 9 . Sukumar Mukhopadhyay. The Interpretation of Contracts. 2. 3. Sweet & Maxwell (London:2004) Chapters 1. Treaty Interpretation. N. Amita Dhanda. 6 and 7 Stefan Vogenauer..

M. 116 Yale L. 1243 Michael P. 635 (1997) WEEK 12 Theoretical Foundations of Statutory Interpretation Intentionalist Theories Readings Books 1. Daniel A. PA. Laws Empire. 1. Legislation and Statutory Interpretation. 38 Loy. 611. 4.A. (1998) Dinah Shelton. Pp. Contract Theory.L. Do Theories of Statutory Interpretation Matter? A Case Study. Rev. Thomas L. 3. L. William N. Harvard University Press (London: 1986) Pp. L. 313. 1409 Harold P. Mathew D. Rev. REV. Rev. U. 15 St.Articles 1. REV. What We Must Never forget When it is a Treaty We are Expounding. Eskridge. A Matter of Interpretation.J.. Curtis J. 94 Nw. and the Interpretation of Treaties. Rodriguez. Foundation Press. Antonin Scalia (ed. Southerland. 45-86. 2006. Reconcilable Differences? The Interpretation of Multilingual Treaties. McCubbins. 687.. Dynamic Treaty Interpretation. 129-150 10 . Second edn.). 1 (2002) Cheryl Boudreau. 2. 2. 146 U. and Daniel B. Van Alstine. Cin. L. 20 HASTINGS INT'L & COMP. Princeton University Press (1998) 3-48. Theories Of Statutory Interpretation: Statutory Interpretation and the Intentional(ist) Stance. Theory and Reality In Statutory Interpretation.354 Articles 1. 3. 824 Alex Glashausser. 2. L. Farber. Rev. Treaties as Contracts: Textualism. 2131 (2005) WEEK 13 Textualist Theories Readings Books 1. 219 – 256 Ronald Dworkin. L. 73 U.

Originalism: The Lesser Evil. Rev. Universal.A. Solan. Rev. 61. Foundation Press (New York: 2006) Pp. 849 (1989) Lawrence M. L.J. Purposive Interpretation in Law. Eskridge.Articles 1. Rev.82 Articles 1. 64 U. 2027 (2005) WEEK 14 Dynamic Theories Readings Books 1. The Injustice of Dynamic Statutory Interpretation. L. 219 – 256 Aharon Barak. Pp. 2063 (2005) Antonin Scalia. Rev.A. L. Jr. 1479 (1987) Anthony D'Amato. Theories Of Statutory Interpretation: The New Textualists' New Text. Theories of Statutory Interpretation: The Immorality of Textualism. 4.. Statutory Interpretation and Legislative Supremacy. Eskridge. Dynamic Statutory Interpretation. William N. Rev. 57 U. 2. 2007. Legislation and Statutory Interpretation. 3-60. 38 Loy. L. L. William N. Pa. 2. 135 U. 2. 38 Loy. L. Cin. 281 Andrei Marmor. 3. Daniel A. Second edn. 911 (1996) 11 . Farber. 78 Geo. L. Cin. L.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful