Plain or literal meaning of words as they have been carefully selected by draftsman., Not a true reflection of reality coz words are not clear, R V Harris 1836, the statute made it an offence to 'stab, cut or wound' but Harris bit her friends nose in a fight and policeman's finger, she was not charged guilty under this act as the whole act made reference to injury via weapon and teeth are not weapons.
Petere fontes - looking at words of statutes
What is intended by draftsman in this act by looking at general purposes section and the context, Growing trend for judges to follow this method, Re Sigsworth 1935 - son killed mother even though he was in line for inheritance but he wasn't in this cause it was deemed the purpose of act wasn't to reward murderers
Imaginative reconstruction adding/removing words, Adler v George 1964, The court added ‘on’ to avoid the absurd result of G. On or of the vicinity. not being prosecuted because he was caught inside and not in the vicinity of the base
History of the act to see what was the act trying to remedy, Started with Heydon's case 1584 - At that time the reason for Act's existence was always stated in preamble, Smith v Hughes 1960 , Street Offences Act 1959 stated that prostitutes were not allowed to loiter or solicit in the streets, however 6 prostitutes started signalling on windows and balconies by using finger gestures for prices etc so judges saw the point of act was to remedy having such behaviour on the street so by making this an offence we can make sure the mischief is remedied.
The title of the act
Inclusory words and lists, Rules of Grammar, Expressio Unius est exclusio alterius, specific words can only refer specifically, Eiusdem Generis rule, Generic words can be applied specifically, Noscitur a Sociis, derives its meaning from surrounding words, Ignorantia leges non excusat, ignorance of the law is not a defence
Other statutes of the same matter "in pari materia"
The Interpretation Act 1978, clarifies stuff like he is seen to include she
Travaux Preparatoires, Preparatory works such as reports of working papers
Hansard, Parliamentary Debates, De Bene Esse Approach 'for what its worth' look at the evidence but not make a ruling on ir, Pepper v Hart 1992 - 6 to 1 majority to use Hansard, following pepper v hart use of hansard was limited, The Practice Direction
looking at similar regulations
Common law - must be in line with common law
Principle of validity - where excess of power than that which was granted by parliament is used