Advantages And Disadvantages Of Statutory Interpretation

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There are three traditional rules of statutory interpretation:
• the literal rule
• the golden rule
• the mischief rule
The three traditional rules of the statutory interpretation form a hierarchical order i.e the court must apply the literal rule first, and if the rule seems ambiguity, then the golden rule can be used and if the golden rule doesn’t make any progress in the decision taken by the court, the mischief rule can then be applied in the court. The mischief rule and the golden rule are mostly used in court decisions because of the meaning and the effect they give towards legal decisions.
Literal rule
The literal rule is one of the rules used in interpreting statutes and this is always the first rule used by the judge to interpret statutes
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There are problems and disadvantages in the literal rule that affect the statutory interpretation, such as; there can be disagreement as to what amounts to the ordinary or natural meaning. It creates loopholes in the law. It creates awkward precedents which require Parliamentary time to correct. It fails to recognize the complexities and limitations of English language. It undermines public confidence in the law. This is shown in the case of (R v Maginnis) .The essential weakness of the literal rule is the assumption that there is a single, uncontentious, literal understanding of words. Although there are problems affecting the statutory interpretation while using literal rule but there are also advantages which are; it restricts the role of the judge. It provides no scope for judges to use their own opinions or prejudices. It upholds the separation of powers. It recognizes Parliament as the supreme law maker. This is used in the case of (Whitley v Chappell)

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