Statutory Interpretation Questions

Statutory Interpretation – Full mark Answers
(07) – Outline internal (intrinsic) aids to interpretation and one of the rules of language.
Intrinsic (or internal) aids are those aids that can be found within the Act itself. They are generally used by all judges, but may be of limited help. They include long and short titles, preamble, schedules, headings and interpretation sections.
The courts have developed some rules which apply in only certain linguistic situations. One of these rules is ‘ejusdem generis’ – this is where a list of specific words in an Act is followed by general words, and the general words are limited to the same kind as the list.   Powell v Kempton Park Racecourse (1899) is an example of where this rule has been applied. The Betting Act 1853 made it an offence to keep a house, office, room or other place for the purposes of betting. The House of Lords had to decide if the statute applied to Tattersall's enclosure at Kempton Park Racecourse. The court applied the ejusdem generis rule and held that the other items mentioned in the statute related to places indoors whereas Tattersall's enclosure was outside. There was thus no offence committed.            
(08) – Describe the golden rule of statutory interpretation.
The golden rule is an extension of the literal rule, which is where a judge gives the words their ‘plain, ordinary or literal meaning’ regardless of whether the result is sensible or fair. Naturally, this rule is unsuitable for some cases, so the golden rule allows the words to be given a more appropriate meaning.
There are two applications the golden rule. The first is the narrow approach, which would be used when the words have more than one meaning and the better meaning is chosen. An example of where this has been used is in Adler v George (1964), where ‘in the vicinity of’ could include ‘in’. The second application is the broader approach, which is when the words actually have only one meaning but the judges...