Statutory Interpretation

1109 WordsJan 10, 20165 Pages
Statutory interpretation is process of interpreting statutes by the judges. The definition of statutes have had very specific words but indeed the judges would still need the statutory interpretation to help them. The reason of this, even how, the words in the statutes are specific but sometimes the words contains ambiguity and vagueness in words. On top of that, each word could give us different meaning. For example, we can find in the Oxford Dictionary where a word would contain at least one meaning. Hence, without the statutory interpretation, a lot of judges would have trouble in deciding their judgments in deciding a case. This essay will analyse the four rules, intrinsic aids and extrinsic aids and presumptions in the interpretation…show more content…
Instead of confining itself simply to the mischief which the statute was intended to correct, the court resolves ambiguities by reference to the statute’s overall purpose. Indeed, many modern statutes are not simply intended to correct mischiefs in the common law but have a wider social agenda. Under the purposive approach the courts should try to give effect to this wider statutory purpose in interpreting ambiguous provisions in statutes. For the purposive approach the example case can be Knowles v Liverpool City Council (1993). Knowles was employed by the Council and was injured at work whilst handling a defective flagstone. He claimed damages from them under the Employers’ Liability (Defective Equipment) Act 1969. The Council claimed that they were not liable as a flagstone could not be “equipment” within the Act. The House of Lords held that it could. The purpose of the statute was to protect employees from exposure to dangerous materials. The words “equipment” should be interpreted in this context. The Council were therefore liable for Knowles’ injuries (Paul, 2002). To assist judges in interpreting statutes there exist various aids that they may refer to. Aids to statutory interpretation are divided into internal aids and external aids. These are sometimes referred to as intrinsic aids and extrinsic aids to interpretation. Intrinsic aids to interpretation are concerned, less with the overall approach to interpretation, and more with the
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