Download PDF version of guide for print I. Introduction This research guide is an introduction to the basic legal materials of modern English law see English Legal History for historical research.
There may be difficulty in interpreting the exact meaning of words in particular context that the Parliament has drafted because: The job of the courts is to discover what the intention of the Parliament was in relation of the application of the law. The Parliament has given the courts some source of guidance as to the interpretation of statutes - The Interpretation Act Most modern Acts have an interpretation sections at the end defining some of the words used within them.
Since all Bills passed must have public explanatory notes which give detail to the background to the legislation as well as what is the effect it is intended to have.
In order to aid courts to resolve the ambiguity of meaning of words the rules of statutory interpretation have developed — Literal Rule, Golden Rule and Mischief Rule. The Literal Rule The literal rule is the starting point to a judge in interpreting statutes.
The literal rule means that all the words in a statute must be given their ordinary and natural meaning. Under this rule the literal meaning of the word must be followed regardless that it may cause an absurd result which the Parliament did not mean, as it is for the courts just to apply to law.
Further cases illustrating the use of literal rule: Routine maintenance work and oiling did not fit into this. Lord Diplock has expressed the following in favour of the literal rule of statutory interpretation: Duport Steels Ltd v Sirs  1 W.
When Parliament legislates to remedy what the majority of its members at the time perceive to be a defect or a lacuna in the existing law whether it be the written law enacted by existing statutes or the unwritten common law as it has been expounded by the judges in decided casesthe role of the judiciary is confined to ascertaining from the words that the Parliament has approved as expressing its intention what that intention was, and to giving effect to it.
Where the meaning of the statutory words is plain and unambiguous it is not for the judges to invent fancied ambiguities as an excuse for failing to give effect to its plain meaning because they themselves consider that the consequences of doing so would be inexpedient, or even unjust or immoral.
In controversial matters such as are involved in industrial relations there is room for differences of opinion as to what is expedient, what is just and what is morally justifiable. The literal rule has often been criticised as blindly applied it is against using intelligence in understanding language.
Applying the rule may also be difficult.English Legal System - Statutory Interpretation (Part 1) The Parliament makes legislation but the Courts are left to interpret and apply it. The Doctrine of Parliamentary Sovereignty means that Judges must obey the will of the Parliament.
English law is the common law legal system of England and Wales, comprising mainly criminal law and civil law, each branch having its own courts and procedures.   Contents. Task 1: It can be argued that the role of statutory interpretation is to 'ensure that judges uphold the intention of Parliament'.
With reference to the approaches used by judges, critically assess whether the rules of statutory interpretation fulfil this argument. Statutory interpretation is the process by which courts interpret and of statutes, the principle aim of the court must be to carry out the "Intention of Parliament", and the English courts developed three main rules (plus some minor ones) to assist them in the task.
Legal interpretation in South Africa; Statutory term analysis; Rule of. the English legal system unless it is incorporated into English law by statute, the United Kingdom’s Community obligations had to be fulfilled via the enactment of the European Communities Act /5(5).
Chapter 3 Statutory interpretation 31 The literal rule When faced with a piece of legislation, the courts are required to interpret its meaning so.