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

The three main rules of statutory interpretation are the literal rule, the golden rule and the mischief rule.

Extracts from this document...


´╗┐Question 2 This essay outlines the rules of statutory interpretation. The essay will starts by explaining what the rules are, and how they are used. This will follow by the three main rules: the literal rule, the golden rule and the mischief rule. The essay will also outline the difficulties that courts face in applying the rules. The rules are not in fact rules, but guidelines. Law is a system of rules. The rules are a vital part of our social environment. We are subject to the rules at all times: at work, at home, in the shops. Statutory interpretation uses rules to help interpret what Parliament has enacted. The interpretation of statute has become a hugely personal affair with judges attempting to have their final say and using whatever means to justify their decisions in a particular case. Some judges have their own favorite rule and the different outcomes may result from the use of different rules. ...read more.


For example, in the case of Whiteley v. Chappell (1868) ?the defendant pretended to be someone who was on the voters list, but who had died. He was charged with impersonating ?a person entitled to vote?, but was found not guilty.? (Understanding law 2008, p.91) . The conclusion draft by the court was that the defendant could not be convicted of the statutory offence because the person was dead. And according on a literal rule construction a dead person was not a person entitled to vote. Using the literal rule can also lead to injustice. For example, a railway worker?s widow claimed damages from her husband; the claimant husband was killed while oiling points along a railway line. Under the relevant statutes, compensation was only payable if he had been relaying or repairing the line. And the House of Lords held that claimant husband had merely been maintaining them, so she was denied compensation. ...read more.


In conclusion, this essay explained that statutory interpretation is the process of interpreting and applying legislation. There are rules used by the courts to interpret the meaning of an Act. These rules are necessary because the meanings of an Act can be unclear, that?s why these rules are used to make a judge's task of reaching a clear understanding of an Act, much easier. There are three main rules: the literal rule, golden rule and mischief rule. The literal rule is used by judges to look at the literal meaning of words in an Act. If the words of an Act are unclear you must follow them even though they lead to a manifest absurdity. The golden rule also looks at the literal meaning of words of an Act but allows the court to avoid an interpretation which may lead to an absurd result. The mischief rule involves looking at Parliament's intention for the Act, by determining the defect that the statute in question is trying to remedy. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE 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

3 star(s)

Good on the literal and golden rule but poor on the mischief rule.

Further, the purposive approach is not addressed at all. Under this rule, the focus is on what Parliament intended when passing a new law. Good examples wold be Jones v Tower Boot Co. and Pepper v Harts.

3 Stars.

Marked by teacher Edward Smith 23/10/2013

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 GCSE Law essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    "Within the present system of precedent in the English legal system, judges have very ...

    4 star(s)

    As for the County and Magistrates' courts, they do not create precedents and are bound by all its superior courts. The doctrine of judicial precedent has been argued to have restricted judges over time to decide cases based on a particular set of principles.

  2. There are four different types of law, criminal, civil, common and statuate. In this ...

    Obedience is another main factor of discipline that is closely linked with regulation and is as importantly need by a member of the fire service. Obedience is needed to make sure that those in the police service can listen and follow orders very closely without asking questions.

  1. Discuss the persuasive techniques used by Michael Moore in three scenes from his film ...

    creates an eerily awkward tone, which magnifies the emotional impact on the observer, thus making the scene more effective. The subtitles throughout make the scene appear more official: as it makes us interpret the statements as facts in our minds which is just a human tendency, again adding to the effectiveness as it describes the monstrosities that the pictures display.

  2. Study the concept of Reasonable man and reasonability in tort law.

    than another, or that one person is being reasonable and another unreasonable, or one is being more reasonable than another. Secondly, the judgments of different people on the same arguments, or on the same persons arguing, tend to coincide, though far from completely coinciding.

  1. "Discuss the meaning and constitutional significance of the rule of law. Illustrate your answer ...

    Secondarily - Equality before Law "No man is above the law and everyone, regardless of rank, is subject to the ordinary laws of the land." (Reference in bibliography) Rule of law, in the second principle, means the equality of law or equal subjection of all classes to the ordinary law of the land administered by the ordinary law courts.

  2. Offences against the person act 1861; criticisms and reforms.

    Some people are also critically of the lack of protection for women who are abused by their partners. Although the law in theory protects all there is very little protection for women who are beaten and raped by their partners.

  1. Criminal Law (Offences against the person) - revision notes

    There have been 3 cases to test the Nedrick direction: - * R v Gregory & Mott (1995) G gave M a knife and sais to stab the victim. She did and the victim died. Both charged with murder M said she didn't intenbd to stab victim, just did it.

  2. 869 Words Essay On Human Rights

    Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. Over the objection of the j more developed states [Capitalist], which questioned the relevance and propriety of such provisions in covenants on human rights, both begin with the right of I people to self-determination and to sovereignty over their natural resources.!

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