Help with Statutory Interpretations (Year 1 Law module)

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Richw938
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Hey Everyone! I am studying a Law module which is providing a broad insight into the English Legal System. I have got an assignment due with the question

"Legislation can be seen as a form of linguistic communication. It represents and passes on to the judiciary what parliament has determined the law should be in relation to a particular situation. Legislation, therefore, shares the general problem of uncertainty inherent in any mode of communication."

I am struggling on how to structure the assignment and what to talk about exactly. I know I have to discuss the Human Rights Act 1998 but would greatly appreciate a push in the right direction as to what to write about and research!

Many thanks in advance!
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Mimir
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You should be looking at the different methods of statutory interpretation, being: literal; mischief; golden etc.

Pick a couple of simple acts. To be fair, civil law is pretty dry if you aren't in law, so I suggest looking at Crime. The Theft Act 1968 is good, and there is lots of case law on how the language in the law is interpreted (most recently on "dishonest" and how that is tested for).

If you have to do HRA, which is pretty dull, then look at the same things - what words are uncertain, which would you interpret in different e ways etc (i.e. apply the rules of interpretation). If you can see any "case law" that backs up what you say then mention it

Should start you off nicely .
Last edited by Mimir; 2 years ago
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Here2learn
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Hi,

Some insight into this.

The question is asking you to evaluate to what extent courts apply the formalistic text of statutes. In theory, yes they do. But in reality, judges are not robots that mechanically apply words to facts. You have to analyse and compare the different tools judges use to construe statutory language.

HRA jurisprudence is helpful for this because of the duty to align domestic law with the ECHR. Thus, this obligation changes the way the courts interpret statues (E.g. Ghaiden Mendoza Case - Same-sex tenancy succession)
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