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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.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Chapter-9 Part-2


”. The court observed that well-established principles of statutory construction require a court to look first to the statute's plain language[1] In addition to the language and structure of the statute and the available legislative history, a settled canon of statutory interpretation favors an interpretation which does not require a determination of serious constitutional questions. "The principle is old and deeply imbedded in our jurisprudence that [courts] will construe a statute in a manner that requires decision of serious constitutional questions only if the statutory language leaves no reasonable alternative.[2]and it is established that" Normally, under the rules of statutory interpretation, when a later specific statute conflicts with an earlier general statute, the earlier general statute is impliedly repealed to the extent of the inconsistency’[3]

In the same case it was stated that the statute prescribes a strict liability without need to establish mens rea. The actus reus is itself an offence. There might be cases where some mental element might be a part of the actus reus itself. This is not one of those cases where anything more than the mere doing of the prescribed act requires to be proved. The appellant is, therefore, not entitled to the benefit of doubt[4].

In the following we are discussing the various approaches that are being followed by the judiciary. The realtive merits and demerits are also explored side by side.

The major approaches to Statutory Interpretation include the following approaches -

1. The Literal Rule

2. The Liberal Rule ... 1+2 = The Golden Rule

3. The Mischief Rule ... but NB Narrow readings of penal or taxative Acts

4. The Purposive Approach.

One remarkable feature of these rules is that they appear to contradict each other and the outcome of a case can therefore depends exclusively upon which maxim a judge founds upon. The most general of these rules of construction and interpretation are the literal rule, the liberal rule, and the mischief rule.. Besides the above the other approaches are contextual apprach and plain meaning approach. The Last one is ,ofcourse the oldest and have been employed in UK for quite sometime.These approaches or the methods of constructions are discussed in the following paragraphs.

[1] Maxwell, 1995 WL 259269 at *10 (citing Rubin v. United States, 449 U.S. 424, 430 (1981)

[2] 8 Fleetboston Financial Corp. v. Fleetbostonfinancial.com, 138 F. Supp. 2d 121, 128-29 (D. Mass. 2001), (citing United States v. Five Gambling Devices, 346 U.S. 441, 448 (1953)).

[3] Joseph E. Magnet Constitutional Law of Canada, 8th ed. (2001) Part VI -- Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms

[4] Pyarali K. Tejani v. M.R. Dange, [1974] 2 SCR 154; Goodfellow v Johnson, [1965] 1 All E.R. 941; Smedleys Limited v. Breed, [1974] All ER 21 and Criminal Law: Smith & Hogan, 5th Edu. p. 92,

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