Rules of Statutory Interpretation Essay

2313 Words Aug 23rd, 2013 10 Pages
UNIVERSITY OF NAIROBI, SCHOOL OF LAW GPR 109: LEGAL SYSTEM AND METHOD LEGAL METHOD TAKE AWAY CAT

NKARICHIA MUGAMBI DENNIS G34/3053/2013

Q; there are some rules of language’ used by courts and the legal profession in studying or interpreting written law. They are more of rules of practice than legal rules.
Outline the most common of these and give a brief commentary or explanation of the same.

RULES OF LANGUAGE IN STATUTORY INTERPRETATION.
The traditional common-law approach to statutory interpretation was to "look at the words of the Act". This approach was founded on the assumption that the statute alone was a reliable guide to the intent of the Parliament. To assist the courts in interpreting legislation, judges
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Lastly, where the enumeration is illustrative the rule does not apply. In Grosjean v. American paint works an act imposed tax on ‘all kerosene in the state…’ followed by a specific, detailed, chemical definition of kerosene. Kerosene used in manufacture of paint was held to be taxable even though the common kerosene known is a fuel since it fell under the properties stated in the act.
1.3 The sub-rule of Hierarchy
Where general words are joined to specific words, the general words do not include things in a class superior (in importance or value) to the enumerated things. This is because when listing things the court assumes that things of ‘higher’ order are designated first and if not mentioned they are to be excluded. A statute listing, ‘copper, brass, pewter and tin, and all other metals’ was held not applicable to gold and silver. 2 NOSCITUR A SOCIIS
Literally noscitur a sociis is ‘the company it keeps’. Hence, in Dept. of Health v. Sol Schnoll Dress poultry court have for long held that, ‘the coupling of words denotes an intention that they be understood in the same general sense.’ The rule is usually applied where several words are grouped together and the meaning of one of the words is disputed or unclear.
2.1 Application
For this rule to apply the following conditions have to apply; (i) The general words follow certain particular words to which it keeps

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