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Thursday, May 6, 2010

Chapter-15 Constituional Interpretation and Purposive approach-part-12

Need of Genererous and Purposive approach for the Interpretation of Constitution where fundamental rights are concerned

In Attorney-General of Hong Kong v. Lee Kwong-kut [1] LORD WOOLF referred to the general approach to the interpretations of constitutions and bills of rights indicated in previous decisions of the Board, which he said were equally applicable to the Hong Kong Bill of Rights Ordinance 1991. He mentioned LORD WILBERFORCE's observation in Minister of Home Affairs v. Fisher [2]that instruments of this nature call for a generous interpretation suitable to give to individuals the full measure of the fundamental rights and freedoms referred to, and LORD DIPLOCK's comment in Attorney-General of The Gambia v. Momodou Jobe [3] that a generous and purposive construction is to be given to that part of a constitution which protects and entrenches fundamental rights and freedoms to which all persons in the state are to be entitled. The same approach will now have to be applied in this country when issues are raised under the 1998 Act about the compatibility of domestic legislation and of acts of public authorities with the fundamental rights and freedoms which are enshrined in the Convention.

[1] Attorney-General of Hong Kong v. Lee Kwong-kut [1993] A.C. 951, 966

[2] Minister of Home Affairs v. Fisher [1980] A.C. 319, 328

[3] Attorney-General of The Gambia v. Momodou Jobe [1984] A.C. 689, 700as quoted in Director of Public Prosecutions, Ex Parte Kebeline and Others, R v. [1999] UKHL 43; [2000] 2 AC 326; [1999] 3 WLR 972; [2000] Crim LR 486 (28th October, 1999)
URL: http://www.bailii.org/uk/cases/UKHL/1999/43.html
Cite as: [2000] Crim LR 486, [2000] 1 Cr App Rep 275, [1999] 3 WLR 972, [2000] 2 AC 326, [1999] UKHL 43, [1999] 4 All ER 801

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