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Golden Rule, The Mischief Rule and The Literal Rule of Statutory Interpretation - Essay Example

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This research begins with the statement that Golden Rule or British Rule of statutory interpretation gives authority to the judge to dismiss the literal meaning of a word in order to prevent passing an illogical ruling. A golden rule is a compromise between the literal and the mischief rule…
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Golden Rule, The Mischief Rule and The Literal Rule of Statutory Interpretation
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Download file to see previous pages An example where Golden Rule was applied was the Sigsworth, Re, Bedford vs Bedford. In this case, a son has murdered his mother who was yet to make a will. Under the Section 46 of the Administration of Estates Act 1925, there should be inheritor and in this case, the son was the sole issue, therefore, he should have inherited the mother’s property. However, the judge ruled under the golden rule and the son did not receive the inheritance. This is because it would have been illogical to give the inheritance to the son as he murdered his mother and would have been benefited by committing a crime. Mischief Rule Mischief Rule of statutory interpretation gives authority to the judge to contain the mischief in the crime and apply it in instances where there occurs an ambiguity in the law. Thus this rule aims to understand the mischief and also to lay down a solution which would correct the situation if implemented. A popular case that came under the Mischief rule was Smith vs. Hughes. In this case, prostitutes were charged for recruiting clients from a public place while within the confines of a private area, which were the windows that overlooked the street. Under the Street Offences Act of 1959, it is illegal to attract clients with the intention of offering sex services on streets. The defendants pleaded that they had not attracted clients on the streets but were within their own homes. However, the judge found them guilty since the prostitutes had mischief on their mind and were, in fact, taking clients from the streets. Literal Rule Literal Rule as the name suggests allows the judge to give out a ruling by taking into account the literal meaning of the word since they do not affect the ruling of the case. The judge, in this case, does not have to consider the meaning or the implications behind words or sentences such as in the case of the previous laws. This is usually the most preferred rule of statutory interpretation. An example of this is the R Vs Harris case under which the defendant harmed the victim by biting his nose. Since the law considers stabbing, cutting or wounding a person through an instrument as a crime, therefore the defendant was acquitted since he did not commit the crime in the literal sense. Application In normal circumstances, the literal rule is first applied before considering any other approach. When a different approach is taken, a significant reason should be presented as to why the Golden or the Mischief rule had been applied. ‘After 45 years in litigation, I have seen so much money spent, stress caused and delay encountered. Reaching settlement at the door of the court is entirely unsatisfactory’. Sir Henry Brooke in ‘Mediation; Lawyers still need convincing’, Law Gazette (18th September 2008).  Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) ADR is an acronym for Alternative Dispute Resolution. Under ADR, the dispute is resolved by allowing the conflicting parties to come to an agreement without having to go through the process of filing a case against the defendant. In this system, the dispute is resolved with or without the presence of a third party. ...Download file to see next pages Read More
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