Statutory Law

In: Social Issues

Submitted By adekinewlm
Words 692
Pages 3
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 how the case should turn out and the will of parliament is contradicted.
R v Harris (1836) 7 C & P 446 concerned a case where the defendant bit off his victim's nose. The statute made it an offence 'to stab cut or wound' the court held that under the literal rule the act of biting did not come within the meaning of stab cut or wound as these words implied an instrument had to be used. Therefore the defendant's conviction was quashed.
The golden rule is an exception to the literal rule and will be used where the literal should be used first, but if it results in absurdity, the grammatical and ordinary sense of the words may be modified, so as to avoid absurdity and inconsistency, but no further. So, The Golden Rule is a modification of The Literal Rule to be used to avoid an absurd outcome.
Re Sigsworth (1935) concerned a case where a son had murdered his mother. The mother had not made a will and under the Administration of Justice Act 1925 her estate would be inherited by her next of kin, i.e. her son. There was no ambiguity in the words of the Act, but the court was not prepared to let the son who had murdered his mother…...

Similar Documents

Statutory Rape

...Statutory rape can sometimes be an unjust law because of the age concept, gender differences and rationality of the individual. Statutory rape is a non-forcible sexual intercourse with a person who is younger than the age of consent. The Age of Consent is the age at which a person is deemed by Massachusetts law to be capable of consenting to, and engaging in, sexual acts. In This Commonwealth, statutory rape is outlawed by Massachusetts General Law Chapter 265: Section 23 (Rape and Abuse of a Child): This law is based on the premise that until a person reaches the age of maturity, that person is legally incapable of consenting to sexual intercourse therefore anyone who engages in sexual activity of any type with a partner under the applicable Age of Consent is breaking the law. He or she can be charged with statutory rape or any other crimes ranging from a misdemeanor to a felony depending on the jurisdiction in which they are prosecuted. The age of consent ranges from 14 to 18 years of age, although in more than half of the states -including Massachusetts - the age of consent is 16. The primary intention of statutory rape laws is to protect teenage girls and, recently, boys as well, from being sexually preyed upon by adults. By design, the laws are meant to deter and punish adults who have sex with minors. By definition, these laws are targeting non-forcible sexual activity Some states and counties are generally not pursuing teenage "lovers" who are close in age.......

Words: 996 - Pages: 4

Statutory Rape Research Paper

...government, the peak has officially been reached when the laws of statutory rape came abroad. Statutory rape being the broad term of what society and the government consider a “legal sex age” and those who dare to disobey them will be punished and scared for the rest of their life. I personally see certain aspects Statutory Rape laws as an illogical and unethical way of the government trying to control what they consider to be right, I do in a great part agree with certain aspects of the so called Statutory Rape laws. The term “statutory rape” is used when the government considers people under a certain age to be unable to give consent to sex and therefore consider sexual contact with them to be a rape. The age at which individuals are considered to give consent is called the age of consent. The age of consent can range from thirteen to twenty-one, depending on the limits set by each state in accordance with local standards of morality. Even sex that violates the age-of-consent laws but is neither violent nor physically forced is described as statutory rape. In most jurisdictions, the expressions “under-age sex” or “sex with a minor” are more commonly used. After many years of prosecuting statutory rape laws, some people are being to question whether or not these laws when concerning non-violent “sex with a minor” are actually appropriate and effective in protecting the rights of minors. The people who support statutory rape laws would argue that in any relationship where......

Words: 2616 - Pages: 11

Principles of Statutory Interpretation

...Chapter 3: Principles of Statutory Interpretation 3.1: The Literal Rule "If the precise words used are plain and unambiguous, in our judgment we are bound to construe them in their ordinary sense, even though it does lead to an absurdity or manifest injustice"- Jervis CJ in Abley v. Dale 1851. The literal rule means the interpretation of Acts purely according to their literal meaning; it has fallen out of favour since the 19th Century. The literal rule of statutory interpretation says that words in a statute should be given their ordinary, literal meaning, no matter how absurd the result . An example of this rule can be seen in IRC v Hinchy (1960), in which the House of Lords was considering the effect of the Income Tax Act 1952. Section 25 of the ITA stated that any tax avoider should pay a £20 fine and ‘treble the tax which he ought to be charged under this Act’. Hinchy’s lawyers argued that this meant a £20 fine and treble the amount of tax which had been avoided. Unfortunately for Hinchy, the House of Lords decided that the literal meaning of ‘treble the tax which he ought to be charged under this Act’ was that a tax avoider should pay a£20 fine and treble his whole tax bill for the year. The outcome of the case was that Hinchy had to pay £438, even though the amount he had avoided was only £14.It is almost certain that the meaning applied by the House of Lords was not what Parliament had in mind when the Income Tax Act 1952 was passed. The statute was badly worded.......

Words: 2122 - Pages: 9

Statutory Rape Cases

...2 Cases Challenge Statutory Rape Law July 14, 1992|By Jim Runnels of The Sentinel Staff TAVARES — A circuit judge was asked Monday to strike down Florida's statutory rape law in two Lake County cases where the teens involved consented to sex. Circuit Judge Jerry Lockett said during a hearing Monday that he will rule in writing within 10 days and decide whether Florida's right-to-privacy law gives teens the right to have sex when they want and with whom they choose. Such a ruling would be a landmark decision in the state, because judges repeatedly - all the way back to a case heard by the Florida Supreme Court in 1901 - have ruled that consent is not a defense in statutory rape cases. Under current law, any person over the age of 18 who has sex with an unmarried person under the age of 16 can be charged with statutory rape. If the juvenile is over the age of 16 and is of ''previous chaste character'' - meaning a virgin - the same law applies. Statutory rape is a second-degree felony, punishable by up to 15 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. But in 1980, Florida voters approved Article 1, Section 23 of the Florida Constitution that says each person in the state ''has the right to be left alone and free from governmental intrusion into his private life.'' That didn't mean much until the case of a Lake County teen, identified publicly as T. W., reached the Florida Supreme Court in 1990. In that case, the teen wanted an abortion, and claimed that she alone - not her......

Words: 724 - Pages: 3

Statutory Checklist

...STATUTORY CHECKLIST Sr. PARTICULARS REFERENCE FREQUENCY & DATE STATUS Factories Act 1948 / MFR 1963 1 Annual Returns Form 27 Rule (119) 1 Yearly Before 1st February 2 Certificate of stability Form 1 A Rule 3 A Every 5 Years And after any modification or changes in the plant. 3 Health register / Medical Check up Form 7 Rule 18 (7), 114 Half Yearly 4 Pressure vessels, PRV’s testing Form 13 Rule 65 External: Half Yearly Internal : Yearly Hydraulic: 4 Years Ultrasonic: 5 Lifts & Hoist Checking Form 11 Rule 62 Yearly 6 Lifting machines, ropes & Tackles inspection Form 13 Rule 65 Half yearly 7 Lime washing & painting Form 8 Rule 20&51 If painted otherwise than with washable water paint or varnished: To be repainted or revarnished in every 5 yrs. If washable paint is used: Washing in every 6 months & Repainting of 1 coat at 3 years. If clean impervious surface is there the cleaning shall be done in 14 months. 8 Annual Inspection & Compliance report --- After the visit of factory inspector compliance report of the inspection to be sent to DISH 9 [Permissible limits of exposure of chemical & toxic substances] Work area monitoring Sec. 41 F The permissible level of exposure of the certain chemicals shall be as mentioned in the schedule 2 MPCB 10 Environment statement Form V Yearly 11 Water CESS Form 1 5th of every month 12 Environment monitoring -- Quarterly Hazardous waste management & Handling Rules,......

Words: 639 - Pages: 3

Statutory Interpretation

...of food. The law commission in 1979 made a report doing a recommendation about interpretation of statutes that utilise and gave support the golden rule. However the commission also recommended to do an explanation in order to clarify the parliamentary intentions depending on the case study. MISCHIEF RULE In the use of this rule, the court has to keep in mind different factors first before to put in action the rule. The court should specified that they may need to interpret other statutes before giving a verdict. But in the case study of Sam, how would the mischief rule be applied? Well, there can be many factors which let convince Sam of the offence, for instance he could not have paid the congestion charge fee for the Van making him to decide parking the Van in the A55 carriage way, but factor can make Sam lead with a lot of negative circumstances as an environmental impact due to the place that is used as a point of sale has to be cleaned and tidy. In the economic factor can be include the fiscal payment and due duties with the local council, the person in case (Sam) has to be really clear of his situation and all those factors before to declare himself as a non-guilty. PURPOSIVE APPROACH This approach refuse the judges’ limitations, suggesting that every judge and his interpretations have to include a power to analyse above of the legal words, building a meaning based on that purpose and giving it effect. This purpose is mainly typical of civil law systems,......

Words: 1553 - Pages: 7

The Approach of the Law Lords to Statutory Interpretation Has Been Radically Changed by the Human Rights Act. Judges Now See Themselves as Legislating Human Rights Through Their Interpretation of Acts of Parliament.

...University of London Common Law Reasoning and Institutions Essay Title: ‘The approach of the Law Lords to statutory interpretation has been radically changed by the Human Rights Act. Judges now see themselves as legislating human rights through their interpretation of Acts of Parliament.’ Student Number: 111244061 Candidate Number: 56307 In the English legal system, Statutory interpretation is seen as the way by which judges give meaning to the statutes by the parliament. Even though Judges have a wider choice of options in interpreting statues, the situation is now different after UK’s membership of the European Union (EU) through the European Communities Act (ECA) 1972 and after the incorporation of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) by the Human Rights Act (HRA) 1998. Judges are now bound to interpret the statues in such a way that is compatible with the provisions of EU law according to Sec 2(4) of ECA 1972 and also should give effect to the spirit of the conventions as required in Sec 3 of HRA 1998. Convention jurisprudence now has an significant and straight role to play in statutory interpretation due to section 3 of HRA 1998. The Convention confers a huge number of fundamental rights, including the right to life, the right to liberty and security, and so on. The United Kingdom became a participant to the Convention many years ago but Parliament did not cope with domestic law until 1998, when the Human Rights Act was passed. So the......

Words: 2185 - Pages: 9

Statutory Interpretaion

...What is Statutory Interpretations? Statutory Interpretations is the process by which Judges interpret Acts of Parliament. 75% of cases heard by the House of Lords are concerned with statutory interpretation. Statutory Interpretation is the process of reading and applying statutory laws, and judges trying to find out the intention of parliament when passing the law. Sometimes the words of a statute have a plain and straightforward meaning. But in most cases, there is some ambiguity (can be interpreted in more than one way) or vagueness (unclear) in the words of the statute that must be resolved by the judge. An example of where the language was unclear can be seen in the case of Twining v Myers (1982), where court has to decide whether roller skates amounted to a ‘vehicle’.  There may be other cases where the meaning of words change over time, for example the Offences Against a Persons Act 1861 uses the word “malicious” and “grievous” which either would not be used in this modern day and time, or if used have different meanings to which was intended when the Drafts Man of the act write it. Other means of when Statutory interpretations would be needed is when Drafting errors are present in the bill, this happens mostly when bills are rushed in times of emergency. Problems of interpreting statutes? The problems with interpreting statues is that Judges have to decide what parliament meant by a particular piece of legislation. In most cases judges correctly judge of what the......

Words: 3147 - Pages: 13

Methods of Statutory Interpretation

...The various methods of statutory interpretation that have been developed by the courts over the years of the British Legal system are a common law concept. 1.0 Introduction Statutory interpretation is the process the courts interpret and apply the passed Acts of Parliament. The courts must do this as when a case involves a statute, mainly because some statutes have a plain and straightforward meaning. And there usually is ambiguity and vagueness within the words of the statute and it is left to the judge for the matter to be resolved. 2.0 Some of the methods of statutory interpreation that we will reveal and discuss are the Literal Rule, Golden Rule, Mischief Rule and also anylase the Purposive Approach used by the courts of United kingdom and other countries who have adapted to the Laws of United Kingdom. 2.1 The Literal Rule During the 18th and 19th centuries the court started to take more of a literal approach within their courts they took a strict view of the words of a statute. If the case before them was not precisely covered they were not prepared to countenance any alteration of the statutory language. An example of this is: “Whiteley v Chappell (1868) LR 4 QB 147. In this case, the defendant pretended to be someone who had recently died in order to use that person’s vote. It was an offence to ‘personate any person entitled to vote.’ As dead people cannot vote, the defendant was held not to have committed an offence. The Defendant had voted using a dead......

Words: 909 - Pages: 4

Statutory Rape

...Name: Course: Lecturer: Date: Are Statutory Rape Laws Patronizing To Girls and Discriminatory To Boys Cover letter The purpose of the essay was to show that there is discrimination in the statutory laws where the boys are the ones who suffer. When there is sex between two teenagers below the age of 16, the girl I protected while the boy is charged. Charging the boy alone while they are both supposed to be protected by the same law is discriminatory. The essay seeks to show this using the case of a 14-year-old boy and three girls. From completing the topic, I learn more about statutory rape and the legal age of consent to sex. I learnt that statutory rape was initially meant for protecting girls from older male advances. However, with the advocacy of equal rights for both sexes, all children must be protected. During the research, I encountered several problems especially with finding relevant sources for information. Most scholarly articles addressed statutory laws without considering discrimination of boys. Therefore, finding the relation between statutory rape and discrimination of boys was challenging. Additionally it was hard to find materials relating to young boys since most statutory rape cases focused on older mature offenders with minors. I enjoyed learning about the statutory law and its consideration for boys in the current are. In addition, I enjoyed learning about the arguments posed by both sides, despite supporting the claim that it......

Words: 2155 - Pages: 9

Statutory Rape

...Research Paper When you look at the different states, the majority of them have the same laws for age of consent, but a few of them are different. The purpose of me researching this is because I have family members that is a Defendant of statutory rape, but in reality he is the victim. I believe he is the victim because he is the one having to sit in prison and waste his life away because of the laws in Washington State, while the Victim is out living her life and not being affected at all. The legal definition of statutory rape is: “Statutory rape generally refers to sex with a person who is under an age specified by statute. At this point, most state laws call it something else.” This particular case was reported on the twentieth day of the second month in the year of 2008. He was sentenced on the seventeenth day of the third month in the year of 2008, almost a month after sitting in the county jail. He was charged with Rape of a Child Second Degree, in Washington state this means, “A person is guilty of rape of a child in the second degree when the person has sexual intercourse with another who is at least twelve years old but less than fourteen years old and not married to the perpetrator and the perpetrator is at least thirty-six months older than the victim.” If you look at both sides of the case (Victim vs. Defendant) you might ask your self, “How does this case affect both the victim and their (in this case a girl) family, and the defendant and their (in this......

Words: 894 - Pages: 4

Statutory Interpretation

...in the statutes must be solved by courts, it is true that have some ambiguity or have a unclear meaning of statutes' words in most case. Statutory interpretation allows the judge to have a clear meaning of what is meant by the statutes. Hence, statutory interpretation is an important process when the case is judging by court and courts would seek to interpret the statutes at full steam. In the modern legal system, there are four general approaches to construe statutes that are respectively the golden rule, the literal rule, the purposive approach and the mischief rule. The quoted statement by Lord Denning means, when statute is interpreting, the judge need to understand the entire content of statutes and ascertain the intention of Parliament that better than reading different section of statues and to understand them separately, or words by words. In other words, Lord Denning said that by applying purposive approach better than literal rule. We need to understand and ascertain the meaning of four approaches before discussing the statement by Lord Denning. Whichever approaches or rules may be applied by court, giving a clear meaning of particular words in the statute or interpret the basic meaning of statute. The literal rule try to give a plain, straightforward and ordinary meaning to the words of statutes in the context of statutory provision or the Act, Maybe this word has a simply and popularly understood meaning but this word would has no more one meaning in the......

Words: 1746 - Pages: 7

Statutory Interpretation

...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 of statutes. There are four different rules of interpretation in English law which are the literal rule, the golden rule, the mischief rule and the purposive rule/approach. Each rule take different approaches and some judges prefer to use one rule while other judges prefer another rule. Traditionally, the English courts have taken a literal approach to the interpretation of statutes. The Literal Rule is the cornerstone of this approach. The literal rule requires the courts to give the words of a statute their plain meaning. It is for a court to interpret Parliament’s intention from what it has actually said – not from what it thinks it meant to say. This can produce some surprising results as, in practice, words seldom have a single......

Words: 1109 - Pages: 5

Sel Statutory Interpretation

...power to local authorities is broad and gives the local authorities the ability to create and enforce local laws appropriate to the particular needs and resources available in their governing area. In January 2016, Daisy was approached by a local government environment officer named John Ruth. Daisy was a university student that used disposable spray paint cans to create modern art inspired by the Gracetown bush retreat. At the time that she was approached, Daisy was in the process of cleaning a spray paint can, Psychedelic Purple which contained magnesium particles. When cleaning these cans, Daisy had to hold them upside down and spray out any excess repellent. Upon seeing this, John Ruth was certain that some of this paint had landed on her outdoor shower area which was located near her kitchen. John Ruth issued a notice that there had been a breach of Augusta Margaret River Shire Council local law that relates to the discharge of metals and metallic particles into soil, areas of vegetation, waterways, sewers, drains or similar areas. This law is followed by a significant fine of $3000. Daisy argues that the law does not apply when an insignificant amount of particles is discharged into a water storage container. The following provides an outline of relevant legal concepts and approaches to determine the validity of Daisy's argument.   Statutory Interpretation Statutory interpretation is a method used by courts to interpret and apply legislation. It is necessary for......

Words: 1791 - Pages: 8

Statutory Interpretation

...------------------------------------------------- Statutory Interpretation There are four general approaches to construe statutes that are respectively the golden rule, the literal rule, the purposive approach and the mischief rule. The quoted statement by Lord Denning means, when statute is interpreting, the judge need to understand the entire content of statutes and ascertain the intention of Parliament that better than reading different section of statues and to understand them separately, or words by words. In other words, Lord Denning said that by applying purposive approach better than literal rule. Extrinsic aids are matters which may help put an Act into context. Sources include previous Acts of Parliament on the same topic, earlier case law, dictionaries of the time, and the historical setting. In addition, Hansard can now be considered. Hansard is the official report of what was said in Parliament when the Act was debated. The use of Hansard was permitted following the decision in Pepper (Inspector of Taxes) v Hart (1993) where the House of Lords accepted that Hansard could be used in a limited way. It permits Hansard to be used where the legislation is ambiguous or obscure or leads to an absurdity, and the material relied on comprises one or more statements by a Minister or other promoter of the Bill and such other parliamentary material as is necessary to understand the statements, and the effect and the statements that were relied on have to be......

Words: 332 - Pages: 2