St Atutory Interpreataion Essay

793 words - 3 pages

Statutory InterpretationStatutes should be created in a way that the public can be able to understand them. This means that when the statutes are interpreted in a literal sense, it may bring about ambiguity. The courts consider a statute ambiguous when the language can be interpreted in different senses. But, with a complex social and economical society, the laws may also be complex and sometimes hard to comprehend by lay people. By using statutory interpretation, judges interpret the words of the statutes by using three different approaches to interpretation: the literal rule, golden rule, and the mischief rule, whereby judges use the ordinary meaning or other procedures when the ordinary meaning produces absurd results.In the Literal Rule approach, judges interpret the statute in its ordinary or literal sense. In this way, the intent of Parliament is kept, and therefore the meaning would be what they intended it to. But, this approach can only be use if the law is unambiguous, clear, and precise. So, even if the result is unjust, the literal meaning should be used, and then it would be parliament's duty to alter the words to eliminate the absurdities. For example in the case of R. v Harris (1836), the statute indicated that it was offense 'stab, cut, or wound', which in a literal sense it would indicate the use of weapon in order to be guilty of the offense. In this case, biting doesn't constitute the use of a weapon, so therefore he wasn't found guilty. This may cause injustice to the person that was harmed, because although Harris had clearly been involved in the fight and caused injuries to others, he was still considered innocent, due to the literal interpretation of the statute. This may obstruct justice for the individuals harmed, and the ambiguity may have to be brought before the courts, for there to be a possible change in the law.The Golden rule approach is used when there is some absurdity or inconsistency in the result of the literal interpretation. This method allows courts to find an alternate meaning to the word or phrases, whereby the words were ambiguous and the result was absurd. The text of an act is examined, and the internal context is questioned. For example in the case of R. v Allen, 'marry' was interpreted as 'to go through a...

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