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The most comprehensive coverage on the construction of Statutes. It includes parts of statutes,Extrinsic-Aids,Intrinsic aids, Reading down, Amendments,Repeals,codifications,Quasi-Judicial agencies,Non-obstante clause,Mandatory/Declatory provisions,Tax ,Beneficial, Criminal,Fiscal Statute's Interpretation and sub-ordinate legislations.Besides it contains the Rules of Interpretation and the Role of Judiciary.Citations are in abundance.

Friday, May 28, 2010


Avoidance of abrogation of state sovereignty

See Gregory v. Ashcroft, 501 U.S. 452 (1991); see also Gonzales v. Oregon, 546 U.S. 243 (2006); see also Nevada Dept. of Human Resources v. Hibbs, 538 U.S. 721 (2003)


Deference canons instruct the court to defer to the interpretation of another institution, such as an administrative agency or Congress. These canons reflect an understanding that the judiciary is not the only branch of government entrusted with constitutional responsibility.
Deference to Administrative Interpretations (US Chevron deference)
If a statute administered by an agency is ambiguous with respect to the specific issue, the courts will defer to the agency's reasonable interpretation of the statute. This rule of deference was formulated in the US by the United States Supreme Court in Chevron v. Natural Resources Defense Council, 467 U.S. 837 (1984).
Avoidance Canon (Canon of Constitutional Avoidance)
If a statute is susceptible to more than one reasonable construction, courts should choose an interpretation that avoids raising constitutional problems. In the US, this canon has grown stronger in recent history. The traditional avoidance canon required the court to choose a different interpretation only when one interpretation was actually unconstitutional. The modern avoidance canon tells the court to choose a different interpretation when another interpretation merely raises constitutional doubts.[4]

Avoiding Absurdity

The legislature did not intend an absurd or manifestly unjust result.[5][6]
When a statute may be interpreted to abridge long-held rights of individuals or states, or make a large policy change, courts will not interpret the statute to make the change unless the legislature clearly stated it. This rule is based on the assumption that the legislature would not make major changes in a vague or unclear way, and to ensure that voters are able to hold the appropriate legislators responsible for the modification.
Leges posteriores priores contrarias abrogant (Subsequent laws repeal those before enacted to the contrary, aka "Last in Time")
When two statutes conflict, the one enacted last prevails.


Critics of the use of canons argue that canons impute some sort of "omniscience" to the legislator, suggesting that it is aware of the canons when constructing the laws. In addition, it is argued that the canons give a credence to judges who want to construct the law a certain way, imparting a false sense of justification to their otherwise arbitrary process. In a classic article, Karl Llewellyn argued that every canon had a "counter-canon" that would lead to the opposite interpretation of the statute.[7]
However, it could be argued that the fundamental nature of language is to blame for the problem of "for every canon, a counter." Interpreting whether a statute applies to a given set of facts often boils down to analyzing whether a single word or short phrase covers some element of the factual situation before the judge. The expansiveness of language necessarily means that there will often be good (or equally unconvincing) arguments for two competing interpretations. A judge is then forced to resort to documentation of legislative intent, which may also be unhelpful, and then finally to his or her own judgment of what outcome is ultimately fair and logical under the totality of the circumstances. Canons of statutory construction give judges the ability to decide questions of statutory interpretation that necessarily rely on an element of judicial discretion.
Over time, various methods of statutory construction have fallen in and out of favor. Some of the better known rules of construction methods are:

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