Presentation on theme: "Statutory Interpretation When judges decide on the meaning and application of the words or terms in an Act to resolve a dispute before the court."— Presentation transcript:
Statutory Interpretation When judges decide on the meaning and application of the words or terms in an Act to resolve a dispute before the court
Statutory Interpretation 0 This involves judges interpreting ________________________ 0 By doing this, judges are involved in ____________________ what is the law. 0 Whilst the courts ________________and ___________________ existing common law principles (precedent), their main law making activity is to interpret and add meaning to ________________________ ____________________________________
Reasons for statutory interpretation There are number of reasons why a judge may need to interpret a statute. Lets have a look at a few examples: ‘It is illegal to come within 50 meters of a pedestrian crossing the street’. When two trains shall meet at a railroad each shall stop and neither shall proceed until the other is gone'. 'No person shall be permitted under any pretext whatsoever to come nearer than 50 feet of any door or window of any polling booth from the opening of the poll until the completion of the count and the certification of the returns'. 'The carrying of concealed weapons is forbidden, unless they are exhibited to public view'. (A law passed in 1912 USA )
Reasons for statutory interpretation 'No person shall carry a loaded rifle on the sabbath except for the purpose of shooting noxious game or a police officer in the execution of his/her duty'. 0 Credit Act 1984 (VIC) - Section C 'where under the contract, a credit for the payment for goods and services is, or is to be made, provided by the supplier or by a linked credit provider of the supplier, and at the time at which the contract is made, the goods and services are reasonably available for purchase for cash but are not available for purchase from the supplier for cash - means the price at which at the time the buyer might reasonably have bought the goods and services of that kind for cash;'
Reasons for statutory interpretation 0 The intention of the Act is ___________________________ 0 The Act is about a technical or _____________________________ 0 There is difficulty in foreseeing possible __________________ applications of the Act 0 ________________________________within an Act or between Acts 0 Time pressures in drafting legislation left the language _______________________________ 0 Problems relating to ________________________________ 0 Words used may not cover _________________________________
Reasons for statutory interpretation Thus the courts have to analyse and apply the law based on the question: “_______________________________________________ __________________________________________”
How judges interpret legislation 0 Intrinsic sources (________________________________________) judges will refer to other sections of the Act to interpret the meaning of terms or words in an Act. 0 Examples: words, margin notes, footnotes, the long title, and the object or purpose clauses. Most Acts also contain a section where the key words are defined. 0 eg: Transport Accident Act 1986 (Vic.)defines a ‘transport accident’ as an ‘incident dorectly caused by, or arising out of, the driving of a motor car, railway train or tram.’
How judges interpret legislation 0 Extrinsic Sources (_______________________________________) 0 ________________________________ 0 Interpretation Acts ( Interpretation of Legislation Act 1984 (Vic.)) 0 Previous decisions (binding and persuasive) 0 _________________________________________ 0 Transcript from Second Reading Speech 0 Reports of committees
Other approaches used by judges 0 _________________________________________ judges may look for the literal meaning of a word 0 _____________________________________________ judges are required to look to the purpose or intention of an Act when applying it to a case before them. 0 Binding and persuasive precedents- past cases may be able to assist a judge in determining the purpose or intention of the Act. 0 Common law rules- 0 ejusdem generis- ‘ _________________________________________’ 0 Expressio unius exclusio alterius- express mention of a term excludes all others
The effect of statutory interpretation 0 Words are ________________________________________ however, the words do not change 0 ________________________________________________when a court decides on the meaning of a Act it must provide a ratio decidendi. If this decision is made in a higher court this will form a precedent to be followed by other courts lower in the hierarchy. The definition applies only to the legislation that was being interpreted, 0 _________________ the scope of legislation- if the court gives a narrow interpretation to words or terms, the interpretation may limit the range of circumstances that the Act may apply to. 0 _________________the scope of legislation- if the court gives a broad interpretation to words or terms, the interpretation may extend the range of circumstances that the Act may apply to.