The Precedent Of A Railway Worker Killed Hit By A Train Essay

964 Words Nov 1st, 2016 4 Pages
The literal rule is one way in which statues are interpreted. The courts do not subvert the law but just apply the law that is created by parliament. This rule gives all words their ordinary meaning and must be followed even if the result is absurd. In the case R v city of London Court Judge Lord Esher stated if the word of an act is clear then you must follow them even if it manifestly leads to an absurd result . Highlighting the absurdity of the literal rule Berriman a railway worker died hit by a train whilst oiling the tracks. Statute says that compensation payable on death to those relaying or repairing track but nothing about oiling tracks, so the court decided that victims claim could not have compensation as he was not doing anything that statute suggested. The result is harsh but not absurd so the golden rule cannot be applied neither can the mischief rule due to no ambiguity in the words.

This rule has some advantages in that it respects parliament sovereignty so follows on from what parliament said and nothing being questioned. The courts have a restricted role therefore cannot give their opinion so there is no bias. Thirdly, law making is left to those who elected so is constitutionally sound from our perspective. However, disadvantages include the absurd result not enacting the will of parliament, for example in the case of Berriman (1946) it was not parliaments intention not to allow someone who was killed by a train not to have compensation. The law…

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