Different Schools Of Statutory Interpretation

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Introduction and Thesis There are multiple schools of thought when it comes to how courts should interpret statues and legislation, some schools advocate a literal, textual reading of the relevant statues, while other schools advocate taking other factors into account when making a decision, factors like the intent of the legislature when they passed the statue. The case AA v BB provides a good look into the issue of statutory interpretation because the two different courts that heard the case applied a different from of statutory interpretation. The lower court stuck to a textual interpretation, whereas the court of appeal considered the legislative intent behind the relevant statues. This paper will argue that of the two schools of statutory interpretation applied in the case, textualism and intentionalism, neither is completely appropriate and that the pragmatic approach to statutory interpretation is the most appropriate method to use. It will then argue that the decision by the Ontario Court of Appeal in AA v BB is the more convincing decision as it best aligns with the pragmatic approach.
Point I: Why the pragmatic approach is more appropriate than a strictly textualist or intentionalist approach.
• Textualism is a school of statutory interpretation that relies on the text of the statue to determine the true intent of the legislature. Textualism is heavily reliant on the “plain meaning rule,” which essentially means that when the text of a statue is clear and
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