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Law Unit 1

What is statutory interpretation? The process used by Judges to interpret and apply statutes to cases
Why do we need to interpret? -Broad terminology -Ambiguity -Drafting errors -New developments -Change in the use of language
Explain 'broad terminology' How it's difficult to make it specific
Explain 'ambiguity' Unclear, so Judges may not understand
Explain 'drafting errors' Correct errors
Explain 'new developements' When act was first created it may not acknowledge advancements in technology/medicine e.g. abortion act
Explain 'change in the use of language' Certain words may not have the same meaning
What are the rules of interpretation? -The Literal Rule -The Golden Rule -The Mischief Rule -The Purposive Approach
What is the literal rule? It's the starting point, gives the plain. ordinary and dictionary meaning. Involves the judge applying the literal even if it results in absurdity
Name the 3 cases with the literal rule -Whiteley v Chappell (1868) -LNER v Berriman (1946) -Fisher v Bell (1961)
Explain the Whiteley v Chappell (1868) case -Offence to impersonate 'any person entitled to vote' -Courts had to decide meaning of entitled to vote -Dead person not entitled to vote -Defendant Not Guilty
Explain the LNER v Berriman (1946) case -Courts had to decide meaning of maintaining -Railway worker was maintaining which was not the same as 'relaying' and 'repairing' -No compensation for widow
Explain the Fisher v Bell (1961) case -Court had to decide meaning of sell/offer for sale -Displaying goods in window is 'invitation to treat' -Defendant not guilty of offering knives for sale
What is the golden rule? An extension to the literal rule used where literal rule has created an absurd outcome. There are 2 approaches; -Narrow Approach -Broad Approach
What is the narrow approach? Multiple meanings and judge chooses between them
What is the broad approach? Only one meaning but to apply it would cause an absurdity so judges modifies meaning
What are the 3 cases with the golden rule? -Allen (1872) -Adler v George (1964) -Re Sigsworth (1935)
Explain the Allen (1872) case -Narrow approach -Courts had to decide meaning of 'to marry' -Either go through the ceremony/becoming legally married -Decided meant going through the ceremony, defendant guilty bigamy
Explain Adler v George (1964) case -Broad approach -Offence to be 'in the vicinity of a prohibited area' but defendant inside the prohibited area -Decided this did include within restricted area -Defendant guilty
Explain Re Sigsworth (1935) case -Broad approach -Court considered inheritance rules -Decided it was repugnant to allow son to inherit when he had killed mother -Son did not inherit
What is the mischief rule? -Looks back to the gap in the previous law and interprets the Act in order to cover the gap
What are the 3 cases with the mischief rule? -Heydon's case (1584) -Smith v Hughes (1960) -RCN v DHSS (1981)
Explain Heydon's (1584) case 1. What was the old law? 2. What as wrong with the old law? 3. What remedy does the new law provide? 4. How does it apply to the case?
Explain Smith v Hughes (1960) case -Offence to solicit in a public place -Defendant were soliciting from private premises in windows/balconies -Court held that the activities of defendant were within the mischief the Act was aimed at -Defendant found guilty
Explain RCN v DHSS (1981) case -Abortion Act 1967 said abortion “terminated by a registered practitioner” -Medical advancement,process carried by nurses under supervision -Purpose of Act;stop backstreet abortions and Act need abortions under medical supervision -Nurses not guilty
What the purposive approach? -Modern day version of mischief rule -Used a lot by courts -Doesn't look at the law in the past/old law, judges deciding what Parliament is trying to achieve -Law commission recommend we use the purposive approach
What are the 3 cases with the purposive approach? -Ex Parte Smith (1990) -R v Secretary of State (2003) -Fitzpatrick v SHA (1999)
Explain the Ex Parte Smith (1990) case -Under Adoption Act 1976, people allowed to find who natural parents are -Smith convicted of 2 murders and detained in Broadmoor, refused info. since thought mum would be in danger -Purpose of Act was to reunite families not to promote violence
Explain R v Secretary of State (2003) case -H of L had to decide whether organisms created by CNR came under the definition of ‘embryo’ -Court ruled that CNR organisms did
Explain Fitzpatrick v SHA (1999) -Wording of Rent Act didn't allow partner in stable and permanent gay relationship to claim succession rights (Act only included those who were “married”) -Court used purposive approach and said this could extend to those who were in gay relationships
What are the 4 advantages of the literal rule? -Follows wording of parliament -More democratic; prevents unelected judges making laws -More predictable outcome -Makes laws certain and consistent
What are the 3 disadvantages of the literal rule? -Assumes all acts are perfectly drafted -Words often have more than one meaning -Can lead to unjust and unfair decisions
What are the 3 advantages of the golden rule? -Allows judge to choose the most sensible meaning -Prevents the problems caused by the literal rule -Respects the words of Parliament
What are the 3 disadvantages of the golden rule? -Unpredictable – not possible to predict when the courts will use it -Unconstitutional - may give a judge too much power -Can only be used in limited situations
What are the 3 advantages of the mischief rule? -Helps remove absurdity and injustice -Fills the gap of the law -Promotes the purpose of the act
What are the 4 disadvantages of the mischief rule? -Unconstitutional – risk of judicial law making -The use of this rule is limited due to the purposive approach -Limited looking back at the old law -Makes the law uncertain
What are the advantages of the purposive rule? -Gives effect to Parliament’s true intentions -Avoids harsh and destructive analysis of language -Avoids the absurdity and injustice -Allows for new developments in technology
What are the disadvantages of the purposive rule? -Can only be used if the judge can find Parliament's intention which can be difficult to find -Unconstitutional- gives judge too much power which goes against Parliamentary supremacy -Judges attitudes differ towards trying to find Parliamentary intent –
What are the 2 aids to interpretation? Intrinsic and extrinsic
What is intrinsic aids? Found within the act itself
What is extrinsic aids? Found outside the act
Name the 6 intrinsic aids -Long/short title -Preamble -Schedules -Interpretation Section -Individual Sections/Explanatory Notes -Objectives Sections
What is the long/short title? The long title of the act that maybe referred to as guidance
What is the preamble? Contained in older statutes. It's a statement preceding the main body of the act setting out the Acts purpose in some detail
What is schedules? Additional comments by Parliament found at the back of the Act. Judges can refer to these comments to make sense of the legislation and what Parliament intended
What is the interpretation section? It's in modern Acts and is like a glossary so it defines and explains the meanings of key words used continuously throughout the Act
What is the individual sections/explanatory notes? It's similar to schedules but appear in the margins. They relate to particular sections.
What is the objectives sections? Modern Acts contain an objectives section which sets out the outcomes of the Act
Name the 6 extrinsic aids -Dictionaries -Textbooks -Previous Acts/Laws -International Treaties -Hansard -Law reports
What is dictionaries? Can be used by judges to find the literal meaning of words
What is textbooks? Can use legal textbooks for guidance in relation to particular points of law
What is the previous acts/law? Judges may refer to previous acts/law to help understand the development of the law
What is the international treaties? Can be referred to in order to determine the main objective of the Treaty and so the Act can be interpreted to achieve that objective
What is law reports? The LC highlights what's wrong with the old law and suggests new law that should be passed. This was decided by the HOL in Davis v Johnson (1978)
What is Hansard? Courts were not permitted to refer to the Parliamentary debates recorded in Hansard
Outline the case that refers to Hansard? Pepper v Hart (1993)- HOL held that Hansard can be referred to but ONLY: -If the Act is ambiguous/obscure -Or when a literal interpretation lead to an obscurity
Outline the aid that is in both extrinsic and intrinsic? Punctuation-can effect the meaning of words and can be taken into account in determining the meanings of words/phrases.
What is the impact on EU Law on interpretation? Has made our judges more ready to use the purposive approach
Name the case example of the impact on EU Law on interpretation? Marleasing Case (1992)
What is the impact on the Human Rights Act on interpretation? Legislation must be read and given effect in a way which is compatible with the rights in the ECHR
Name the case example on the Human Rights Act on interpretation? Mendoza v Ghaidan (2002)
Created by: jxkxx
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