• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Statutory interpretation

Extracts from this document...


Statutory Interpretation Assignment III (a) Extrinsic aids are tools which a judge can use to help aid themselves when interpreting a decision, they are situated outside of the relevant statute a judge would be referring to when making a decision. Extrinsic aids that a judge may use include dictionaries (from the year the act was passed), other acts, other cases (precedents) and Hansard, to name a few. Sometimes it can be very difficult for a judge to identify the exact meaning of an act, for example when a broad term is used or when changes in the use of language have occurred. This is when extrinsic aids can prove most useful, as they can help a judge to clarify the exact meaning of an act. One example of a judge using an extrinsic aid is found in the case (Cheeseman v DPP, 1990). In this case a judge used a dictionary to identify the meaning of the word "passenger", a word which had changed in meaning since the Town Police Clauses Act, 1847 had been passed. The judge needed to identify what the word "passenger" meant at the time the act was passed, as the defendant should only be convicted if the 1847 meaning of "passenger" applied to him. ...read more.


However I would argue that Harriet is not 'soliciting... for the purpose of prostitution' which is the case in the source, and so a conviction would be unlikely. ii. Under the literal rule I believe the relevant term that a judge would have to apply its natural and ordinary meaning, would be 'in a street or public place'. Once again as Stella is in her flat, which is neither in a street or public place, I think a conviction would be very unlikely using the literal rule. Using the mischief rule a judge would first have to identify what parliament were trying to remedy by making this statute, in this case I believe the judge would identify this as preventing prostitutes from soliciting members of the public, like in the source. So using the mischief rule I think a conviction would be likely if Stella was soliciting members of the public for the purposes of prostitution, and like Lord Parker argued as the soliciting was aimed at people at in the street, the act should be interpreted to include this activity as this is what parliament was trying to remedy. iii. Under the literal rule, I believe the relevant terms a judge would need to apply their natural and ordinary meanings to, would be 'in a street' and 'for the purpose of prostitution'. ...read more.


When judges use the mischief rule to interpret a statute they will often prevent the need for amendments or complete redrafts of acts being made, which allows parliament greater time to deal with more important issues. The flexibility available when applying the mischief rule also means that this is the only rule that can be used when interpreting the (Human Rights Act, 1998). This act needs to be interpreted differently from other legislation as it is a 'living document', which is constantly updated/ changed. Due to all of these advantages this rule is currently the most widely used in interpreting statutes. A disadvantage of using the mischief rule is that because of the discretion/ flexibility a judge has it can lead to inconsistent decisions being made. The mischief rule is also not as straightforward as the other two rules and so therefore can be more complex in its application, however extrinsic aids can help to combat the complexity involved. For example an acts meaning may be unclear and so it is difficult to identify what 'mischief' parliament were setting out to 'remedy' by producing this act. You can also argue that by using the mischief rule, judges can in effect, create laws which therefore usurps the legislative powers designated to parliament. ?? ?? ?? ?? AS Law29/10/09 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Sources of Law section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Sources of Law essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    There are four main ways, for judges to interpret Parliamentary legislation; they can use ...

    4 star(s)

    In this situation they used the golden rule. The mischief rule gives judges more discretion than the three other rules. It allows judges to decide for themselves the true mischief the act in question, was designed to address. It could be said, that this undermines parliaments supremacy.

  2. Statutory Interpretation

    Sometimes the court does not identify which rule it is applying. The presumptions may be criticised similarly. For instance, there is no rule about which presumption should be applied where two of them conflict. Some of the limitations on the use of extraneous material restrictive.

  1. Judicial Precedent

    It is not rigid and can still be changed if changes are needed to keep the law up-to-date with the times. b) Discuss whether judges can be creative within the system of judicial precedent The term creative means having the ability to bring things into existence, by creating them.

  2. Statutory Interpretation

    * In contract law, displaying goods is not an offer for sale, but an invitation to treat. * The literal rule was used so defendant was found not guilty, as it was an invitation to treat. ABSURD RESULT Cheeseman v Director for Public Prosecutions (1991)

  1. Statutory Interpretation

    to ambiguous results * It was frequently observed that judgments made under the literal approach produced results, which the Parliament had never intended. If the literal rule is known to manifest absurdity, then the golden rule should be applied, in order to reach a more reasonable and fair solution.

  2. Decriminalize Prostitution

    And in Athens, Greece Solon (639-559 BC) began establishing brothels, wherein the workers were from the lowest class of the society (Miller, 2005). In Rome, prostitutes were legal during the ancient times; they were licensed and taxed by the state. Male prostitutes also existed in Rome, which were however not regulated by the law.

  1. Critically evaluate the partial defence of Provocation.

    An important but controversial qualification was laid down in R v Duffy (1949) namely that the loss of self-control must be 'sudden and temporary'. This was unlikely to be the case if the murder was committed for revenge, since 'the conscious formation of a desire for revenge means that a person has had time to think.'

  2. Statutory Interpretation

    Criminal Justice act 1998 subsection 139(7) gives the legal meaning of public place. It is correct to say that high street is public place. According to literal rule Beatrice has committed crime as she was wearing yellow stockings in public place on Thursday.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work