To using any form of transport on a public

To summarise, this assignment explained that statutory
interpretation is a method of interpreting and applying legislation.  It is vital to use statutory interpretation as
a guide to control the fundamental meanings to statutes and legislation. This
includes applying the common law rules of statutory interpretation against the
present case.


We Will Write a Custom Essay Specifically
For You For Only $13.90/page!

order now


As an example, mischief rule is found in the case of Corkery
v Carpenter (1951). In 1951 Shane Corkery was condemned to one month in jail
for being drunk in charge of a bicycle in public. At around 2.45 p.m. on 18 January
1950, the defendant was drunk and was pushing his pedal bicycle along Broad
Street in Ilfracombe. He was subsequently charged under section 12 of the
Licensing Act 1872 with being drunk and in charge of a carriage. The 1872 Act
made no actual reference to bicycles. The court elected to use the mischief
rule to decide the matter. The objective of the Act was to prevent people from
using any form of transport on a public highway whilst in a state of
intoxication. The bicycle was clearly a form of transport and therefore the
user was correctly charged. Law student, 2010 )

At one level it is evidently the most flexible rule of
interpretation, but it is limited to using previous common law to determine
what mischief the Act in question was designed to remedy. The case itself concerned
a dispute about legislation passed under Henry VIII in 1540 and a legal action
against Heydon for intruding into certain lands in the county of Devon.

Mischief rule is the oldest rules. This rule is principally used
to interpret statutes,  judges can apply
into statutory interpretation to discover Parliament’s intention. However, this
rule requires the court to first look  at
what the law was before the statute, in order to discover what gap or mischief
the statute was intended to cover. The court is then essential for the interpretation
of the statute in a way that the gap is covered. The rule summaries the
Heydon’s Case (1584), where it was said that for the true interpretation of a
statute, a few aspects have to be taken in consideration such as what was the
common law before the making of the Act, what was the mischief and defect for
which the common law did not provide and the true reason of the remedy.

Mischief Rule


The wide approach by Adler v George 1964 showed that the
defendant was accused for obstructing a guard in the execution of his duty, as
the Act 1920 outlines that no person in vicinity duty  or the chief officer shall be obstructed or
the person will be convicted as guilty. The defendant claimed that since he was
in the forbidden place and not in the vicinity of it, he should not be found
guilty.  Moreover, If the court agreed to
use the first term, that would say that the defendant would be innocent and
that would be an absurd decision. Courts came across this decision to clarify
that whether a person is near or in the vicinity of the prohibited place, it is
not right to obstruct it.

This rule has the same principles of literal rule and is
used when literal interpretation causes an unjust result. In other words, the
golden rule is a modification of literal rule and it enable the judges to look
at the words in context. The court always begins the case with literal rule
approach, however, if this rule fails on its logic, then golden rule could be
applied. The golden rule can be interpreted in two ways; a narrow approach and
a wide approach. The narrow approach term reflects on the judge’s views of how
the golden rule must be applied and has more than one meaning. In this case the
judge applies the meaning which best outfits the situation in which the word is
being interpreted. The R v Allen 1872 and Adler v Georgia 1964 cases are
probably the best case which exemplifies the use of golden rule, the R v Allen
case, the defendant Allen was accused of adultery. The section 57 of the
Offences Against the Person Act 1861 evidently states that ‘anyone who being married shall marry any
other person during the life of the former husband/wife shall be guilty of
bigamy.’, 2002)
The challenge caused in court was in relation to the word marry. So, to make sense, the court decided that
the word married should also mean a legal form and ceremony of marriage with
another person. Nevertheless, as the defendant was already married it only made
sense to the judges to implement the general meaning of the word. If the judges
used another word instead of marriage this would have led to bigamy and could
have resulted in an absurd verdict.

Golden Rule

This rule is the first of many rules of statutory
interpretation. Literal rule can be defined as “giving words” as they are given
their ordinary and natural meaning. Courts normally applies to literal rule
before applying to any other rules. Although, when this rule an applied the law
is read word by word and the court has the job to interpret it as it truly is and
not to be explained in a way that they think it should be explained. An example
of literal rule can be seen through the study of Fisher v Bell (1960), where a retailer
had a knife for display on his shop window. “Any person who manufactures, sells or hires or offers for sale or hire
any knife which has a blade which opens automatically by hand pressure applied
to a button shall be guilty of an offence”. Essay
sauce, 2017 This Act
practically recommends that the retailer should be convicted as guilty. But,
the court determined that this retailer was not a victim of any offence. The
owner only had the knife in the shop window with a price and was not selling
it. Even though, the Restriction of Offensive Weapons Act 1959 says that an
individual should not bargain knife blade for sale, it is certain that this
term should be given the literal rule and the shop owner should not be
prosecuted. Many cases which involves the literal rule have caused numerous
problems, there have been circumstances in which literal rule has caused
injustice. The public could believe that judges are being partial and that some
people do not deserve the sentence that they have been given. Also, the literal
rule can be very difficult to apply in some cases.

Literal rule


To assess  statutory
interpretation the use of three explicit statutory rules is needed. Rules had
been established so that framework of interpretation could be provided, these
rules are the common approach in terms of examining the meaning of languages
used in courts. These are known as the Literal Rule, the Golden Rule and the
Mischief Rule.

Statutory rules

Before sketching out the methodologies of statutory
interpretation, it is important to comprehend the correct importance of it. Statutory
interpretation is the process by which courts interpret legislation or an act
of parliament to a better understanding of the statute. House of Lords receives
at about 75% of cases and those cases are concerned with statutory
interpretation, the words of a statute can have straightforward meaning,
however, sometimes courts have to interpret statutes because it could be
confusing and indistinct to understand as they can have diverse meaning. It needs
to be understood precisely in order that the respondents get the right sentence
for the crimes they are being accused of. This is one of the reasons that the
judges role is to clarify the uncertainty of these words may cause. To approach
the correct method, parliaments created the Interpretation Act 1978 to guide
judges when applying statutes as bills and legislation. The Interpretation Act
1978 states that “In any Act, unless the
contrary intention appears; words importing the masculine gender include the
feminine, words importing the feminine gender include the masculine, words in
the singular include the plural and words in the plural include the singular.”
 Essay sauce, 2017) This part of the act
was designed to help the judges with general words. Nowadays, most statutes contain
an interpretation section to facilitate the courts. These sections summaries
what the words contains and how they should be conducted. 


The United Kingdom
written law is known as statute law, also identified as legislation. These laws
are created and implement by Parliament and enforced by various authorities. This
assignment has the objective to give a better explanation of statutory
interpretation and the methodologies associated with it. Moreover, it shows a
more comprehensive understanding on how courts use these methodologies to
interpret statutes when is needed. There are three main rules associated on
statutory interpretation described as the literal rule, the golden rule and
mischief rule. This assignment will be completed by setting; the reasons for
the courts using these rules will be thoroughly explained.