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

There are four main ways, for judges to interpret Parliamentary legislation; they can use the literal rule, golden rule, mischief rule, or the purposive approach.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Lord Scarman stated in Magor and St Mellons v Newport Corporation (1950): "If Parliament says one thing and means another, it is not, under the historic principles of the common law, for the courts to correct it. The general principle must surely be acceptable in our society. We are to be governed not by Parliament's intentions but by Parliament's enactments". (a) With reference to the above source, explain the methods used by judges to interpret Parliamentary legislation. There are four main ways, for judges to interpret Parliamentary legislation; they can use the literal rule, golden rule, mischief rule, or the purposive approach. But on which, depends on the particular judge, as is shown in the text above. Lord Scarman states "If Parliament says one thing and means another, it is not, under the historic principles of the common law, for the courts to correct it" and "We are to be governed not by Parliament's intentions but by Parliament's enactments". This implies that he approves of the literal rule, and strongly disapproves of the others. ...read more.

Middle

Like the literal rule, they follow the meaning of the words in the act literally, but if it does lead to an unfair, harsh or absurd result, they are allowed to avoid it. This goes against what Lord Scarman said in Magor and St Mellons v Newport Corporation [1950] "If Parliament says one thing and means another, it is not, under the historic principles of the common law, for the courts to correct it", the golden rule corrects what the judge believes to be an absurd result, something that Lord Scarman does not agree with. There are two main ways, in which it is used. Firstly you cannot alter the meaning of a word in the act, unless there is more than more meaning, which you are then able to choose between. This is shown in R v Allen [1872] where in the Person Act [1861] section 57 made it an offence to marry when there original spouse was still living, and no divorce had been put through. Marry can mean both, to go through a ceremony or to be legally married. ...read more.

Conclusion

An example of the rule can be found in Smith v Hughes [1960] where under the Street offences act [1959] it was a crime for prostitutes to "loiter or solicit in the street for the purposes of prostitution". The women in question, were calling to men below there balcony. They claimed they were not guilty as they were not present on the street itself. The judge however applied the mischief rule in this situation and found that they were guilty, as the true intention of the act was to avoid the act of harassment from prostitutes. The Purposive approach means to look for reasons why, that particular law was passed using Hansard, and to interpret the words in accordance to that. This approach was set up in Pepper v Hart [1993]. After House of Lords held that courts now take a purposive approach to interpreting legislation, and to find what Parliament intended, all sources including Hansard which is records of debates in Parliament before an Act is passed. This again goes against Lord Scarman's beliefs in the above statement, as it is the opposite of the literal approach. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...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

Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

4 star(s)

A good answer, especially for the literal, golden and mischief rules, all of which are well illustrated with relevant cases. The purposive approach is somewhat briefer and does not have a case illustration.
Rating ****

Marked by teacher Nick Price 22/03/2012

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

    Common Law and Equity

    5 star(s)

    It still continues to play an important part. During the 1950's and 1960's it responded to marital breakdown by stating that a deserted wife could get an equitable interest in the family home, providing an interim solution to a growing problem until legislation should be passed in the form of the Matrimonial Homes Act 1967.

  2. Marked by a teacher

    AS LAW -JUDICIAL PRECEDENT

    4 star(s)

    The judge would not be changing the law. If the House of Lords dealt with both cases with following then the old law wouldn't be changed, the Precedent would in turn find the case on the Cape of Good Hope guilty for killing and the hospital would be found guilty in the case of the twins 2007.

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Common Law and Equity - its history and development

    3 star(s)

    in taking a defendant to court, equitable remedies may not be available. One case that illustrates this maxim is the case of Leaf v International Galleries (1950). The claimant purchased a painting of Salisbury Cathedral described by the seller as a real painting.

  2. Describe how an Act of Parliament is created.

    The Parliament Acts of 1911 and 1949 limit the powers of the House of Lords to be able to reject a proposed Act by a maximum of one year, meaning that on the condition the House of Commons goes through the same process again in the next parliamentary session the

  1. Customer Service Legislation

    This act also affects false or misleading adverts, packaging and labels, for example making a misleading statement about a service, e.g.

  2. 'Delegated legislation is a necessary evil'. How far is this an accurate assessment of ...

    handed down to a body or government minister, the power that they have is not abused. In the introduction I wrote about statutory instruments, now I will talk about what power parliament has over this type of delegated legislation. Statutory instruments have two procedures, the negative and affirmative resolution procedures.

  1. DELEGATED LEGISLATION

    Instrument had not been published, unless reasonable steps had been taken to bring it to the attention of the public or other persons whom the instrument would affect (under the Statutory Instruments Act 1946) In certain cases the primary reason for using delegated legislation is that there can be a quick response to new developments, e.g.

  2. The rules and methods of statutory interpretation allow judges to decide cases as they ...

    This exempts all nurses. However, the act aimed at eliminating illegal backstreet abortions and hence the nurses were not guilty. In Smith v Hughes, where there was an act to clean up the streets. In this case, prostitutes were tapping on windows, in a balcony beside a street.

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