STATUTORY INTERPRETATION Role of Judges – The role of judges is to interpret and give effect to the intentions of Parliament – *In line

with the Doctrine of Separation of Powers – Prof HLA Hart @ Concept of Law indentified several problems faced by judges – There are many words which may carry more than one meaning – Legal documents tend to be complex – Mixture of ordinary words and legal jargon – Drafstmen using broad terms, leaving it for the user to decide – Unforeseen developments Rules of Interpretation 1. The Literal Rule – give the words used their literal meaning regardless whether their result is sensible or not – case: Lord Esher in the case of R v. Judge of City of London Court (1892) “If the words of an Act of Parliament is clear, you must follow them even if it leads to a manifest absurdity.” – case: Lord Bramwell in the case of Hill v. East and West India Dock Co. (1884) “What may be absurd to one person may not be absurd to another, therefore let the legislature to set it right rather than to alter those words according to one man's idea of absurdity.” (paraphrased) – Literal Rule leading to undesirable results: – case: Fisher v Bell (1961) A flick knife was displayed on the window with a note stating “Ejector Knife”. The defendant was charged with offering a knife for sale contrary to Sec 1(1) of the Restriction of Offensive Weapons Act 1959. The courts used contractual principles and concluded that the display of knife was not an offer to sell but a mere invitation to treat. – case: London and North Eastern Railway Co v. Berriman Statute: If an employee died while “relaying and repairing tracks”, his next of kin could claim damages. Berriman died while “oiling and maintaining tracks” which the courts decided did not amount to relaying and repairing. 2. The Golden Rule – to modify the literal rule to avoid absurdity – case: J. Parker in the case Grey v. Pearson “Grammatical and ordinary sense of the word must be followed unless it leads to absurdity in which case the grammatical and ordinary word is to be modified as to avoid absurdity but no further.” – case: Alder v. George (1964) Charged under OSA 1920, obstruction in the vicinity of a prohibited area whereas she claimed to have actually carried out the obstruction “inside” the area. Held: Courts did not restrict themselves to the literal sense of the word and found the defendant guilty.

. The Mischief Rule – Fomulated in the Heydon's case.3. What was the common law before the act II. III. What was the mischief and defect the common law did not provide. What remedy had parliament resolved to cure defect. 3 considerations must be taken into account when there is mischief in the statute: I.