Essay on Statutory Law

691 Words Apr 4th, 2016 3 Pages
The literal rule of statutory interpretation should be the first rule applied by judges. Under the literal rule, the words of the statute are given their natural or ordinary meaning. They don’t interpret meaning.
Lord Diplock in the Duport Steel v Sirs case (1980) defined the rule:
“Where the meaning of the statutory words is plain and unambiguous it is not then for the judges to invent fancied ambiguities as an excuse for failing to give effect to it’s plain meaning because they consider the consequences for doing so would be inexpedient, or even unjust or immoral.”
This definition says that a judge should not deviate from the literal meaning of the words even if the outcome is unjust. If they do they are creating their own version of
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The Mischief Rule is a certain rule that judges can apply in statutory interpretation in order to discover Parliament’s intention. The application of this rule gives the judge more discretion than the literal and the golden rule as it allows him to effectively decide on Parliament’s intent. Parliament intent is determined by examining secondary sources, such as committee reports, treatises, law review articles and corresponding statutes.
Allen v Thorn Electrical Industries, Winn L.J., for example, in that case described the role of the judge as, in effect, the guardian of the common law against the inroads of statute in the following very strong terms: “I must reject as quite untenable any submission that, if in any case one finds (a) that a statute is worded ambiguously in any particular respect, and (b) finds also clear indications aliunde (from another place)that Parliament intended they should have the strictest and most stringent meaning possible.”
Corkery v Carpenter[v]

The defendant was riding his bicycle whilst under the influence of alcohol. S.12 of the Licensing Act 1872 made it an offence to be drunk in charge of a ‘carriage’ on the highway. It was held:
The court applied the mischief rule holding that a riding a bicycle was within the mischief of the Act as the defendant represented a danger to himself and other road users. According to S.12 of the Licensing Act 1872, a person found

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