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Statutory Interpretation

Intrinsic and Extrinsic Aids

Isobel Mackay

on 13 January 2013

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Transcript of Statutory Interpretation

Schedules Additional information and appendices that need to be considered with the Act Preamble Older statutes often have a preamble that may provide a useful indication of the purpose of mischief of the Act. Modern statutes do not tend to have them or contain a very brief one and are of very limited use States what the Act is called, for example; Law Property Act (1925) Short title Law Reform Reports These are reports made by agencies such as the law commission, who suggest ways in which the law should be changed to accommodate changing views in society over time Undisputed sources Dictionaries of the time Hansard The official report of what was said during parliamentary debate when the Act was being discussed. Statutory Interpretation Intrinsic (things inside an Act) and Extrinsic (things outside of an Act) Aids. Extrinsic Aids INTRINSIC AIDS Long title Can be used to gives clues to the meaning of words used in the Act for if the short title doesn't give much away The Theft Act (1968) The Postal Services Act (2000) Contained a schedule describing the composition and appointed procedures relating the new postal services commission Marginal notes and headings These are inserted by draftsmen when the Act goes for printing and are intended as a useful reference to aid interpretation However, where contradictions exist between the actual wording of the Act, and the marginal note, the wording of the Act should be adhered to, eg Pride Of Derbyshire Angling Association LTD V British Celanese LTD (1953) Interpretation sections Set out lists of what meanings are intended for certain words used elsewhere in the Act (quite a modern drafting technique) Used in The Consumer Credit Act (1974) Punctuation Should be taken into account by judges, as can completely change meanings of Acts Earlier Case Law The Historical setting Previous Acts The Interpretation Act (1978) Lord Denning: Not using Hansard would be like 'groping around in the dark without the light switched on' Lord Scarman: 'Allowing the use of Hansard would lead to confusion; not clarity' PEPPER V HART (1995): 6/7 judges allowed the use of Hansard Following the Act it could be used if the wording in an Act is ambiguous or could lead to a manifest absurdity Used since in many cases, eg Three Rivers Council V Bank Of England Black Clawson Case (1975): A law reform report was allowed to be used here to discover the mischief in the law. International Conventions and Treaties These are regulations set by EU law, which have been implemented by English law Fothergil V Monarch Airlines (1980) The HOL (now the supreme court) decided the original convention could be looked it as it was, as there could been an issue in translating The Human Rights Act The judges look to this Act whilst interpreting another Section 3 states that; 'so far as is possible to do so, legislation must be read and give effect in a way which is compatible with the Rights in the EU convention on Human Rights
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