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Statutory Interpretation by Mind Map: Statutory Interpretation
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Statutory Interpretation


Traditionally, unwritten law was given sovereignty and written law was just a support system then in the tudor period when separation of powers happened this was reversed.


Legislation cannot be overruled for being unconstitutional, note occasional attempts e.g. British Railway Board v Pickin 1974

Rules or Primary Aid to Interpretation

Literal Rule

Golden or Purposive Rule

Mischief Rule

Rules are techniques for reading documents and may be followed singularly or in combination


Llewelyn's grand and formal styles grand is flexible and formal is tight

Judges personality affects what style or rule they use.

HR Influence

THe HRA 1998 SELECTIVELY INCORPORATES ELEMENTS of echr by giving them special legal statute as 'convention rights' and judges are required to interpret legislation so far as possible to achieve consistency with these convention rights. thus sometimes judges have to rethink legislation completely

EU Influence

EC legislation is founded on the assumption that a purposive approach will be used when dealing with S.I

Lister v Forth Dry Dock 1990, ditched literal approach and went for very wide purposive approach as a Directive of EC was in concern

10 EC imposes an obligation on the national court to interpret national law in the light of the wording and the purpose of Community law... in so far as it is given discretion to do so under national law.

Ann v London Merton Council

Consumer Protection Act

Secondary aids to construction



Interpreting Secondary legislation

There are additional aids as they have a parent Act

Assumptions when interpretation is happening

Cannot breach international/ european law

Cannot deprive liberty

No person should benefit from his own wrong: Elmer

Cant take away vested rights

pre-existing common law applied

means tea - guilty conscience is necessary element for criminal law

parliament cannot change law retrospectively i.e. making something illegal in the period it was legal

words are given meaning they held at the time

acts only take effect in UK unless stated otherwise