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Interpretation Of Laws Essay

773 words - 3 pages

Interpretation of Laws

In law there are three different ways that the laws set can be
interpreted. To show how they could be interpreted, three rules were
set to go by, these being the literal rule, the golden rule and the
mischief rule. The main dominant rule is the literal rule. This
follows the law to the word doing exactly what the law says it to. An
example of the literal rule is that it respects parliamentary
sovereignty. A big disadvantage though is that by sticking to the
original meaning this can sometimes lead to absurdities and unjust
solutions for example Whitley v Chapell (1868). The law states that
when voting you are not allowed to impersonate ‘any person entitled to
vote’. By imitating a dead person he was able to get away with it as
he was not technically breaking the law.

The next rule is the golden rule. This is very similar to the literal
rule, the wording is still the focus but the meaning of a word can be
modified to stop absurd outcomes. An example of this is shown in the
case Adler v George. The defendant was charged with obstructing a
member of the armed forces ‘in the vicinity of any prohibited place’.
He argued that ‘in the vicinity’ actually meant near to and because he
was actually there that he could not be charged. But the court
applied the golden rule to make ‘in the vicinity’ also include
within.

The third and final rule of interpretation is the mischief rule. This
looks at, rather than what the rule actually states but what it was
intended to do. This is a great advantage when neither the literal or
golden rule can stop an absurdity for example in the case Smith v
Hughes. The law states that it is a criminal offence for a...

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