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Case Study on Statutory Interpretation - Essay Example

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Statutory Interpretation Date Using your knowledge of the principles and rules used by judges to interpret statutes, comment on whether Derek has committed an offence in the following situation. Judges have a responsibility and obligation of dispensing justice in accordance to the law of a given country…
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Case Study on Statutory Interpretation
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Download file to see previous pages In presiding over court proceedings, they hear all evidences and witnesses presented by parties involved in particular cases; they then asses the arguments and credibility of the evidences and parties which guide them towards making a ruling on the case at hand. The judgements made by judges are based on a judge or panel of judges’ personal interpretation and interpretation of the law that relate to a particular case.2 However, to avoid subjectivity and erred judgements, judges are guided by principles and rules which they use to interpret statutes. Statutory interpretation is the process through which legislation is rendered and enforced; that is, courts interpret and apply legislation to specific cases being presided on.3 Principles and rules of interpretation of statutes are very important in ensuring that justice is administered appropriately. This is because some words in statutes are vague and ambiguous while others are plain in meaning. Therefore, different level and amount of interpretation is needed when a case is involving a statute.4 In order to interpret and apply statutes, judges usually find meanings using various methods and means of interpreting statutes. These methods and means include the purpose of legislation, history of legislation, and the canons of interpreting statutes. In some instances, the meaning of legislation has proved to be inconsistent hence need for interpretation in order to achieve the purpose of legislation. For constituency to be achieved in the interpretation of legislation meaning, judges in the courts of law use specific principles and rules to resolve vagueness and ambiguity that appear in statutes. It is imperative to note that different principles and rules of statutory interpretation may be applied. The application of these principles and rules depend on the nature of the ambiguity and the context in which ambiguity and vagueness arises.5 Statutes are drafted by legal experts and it is the language used in the statutes leave little room for interpretation. However, experience by legal practitioners and scholars have shown that expressions and words in statutes are in some cases ambiguous hence the need to resolve the inconsistencies. They argue sometimes interpretation of legislation may differ from its construction.6 Interpretation is the process of finding out the true meaning of a given word and ascertaining the sense that the author wanted to convey. As such, a statute being a legislature edict thus its interpretation should seek the intention of its author or maker. The obligation of the judiciary, therefore, is to interpret the true intention of the Legislature in formulating the statute at hand.7 In an event that the provision of a statute is open to more than one interpretation, the court has to make a decision or an interpretation that represents the true purpose of the Legislature. It is worthy pointing out that legislation contains uncertainties due to a number of reasons thereby necessitating interpretations. These reasons include the following: one, in the course of enactment uncertainties may be added to the statute. Two, new technologies, cultures, and unforeseen situations often make interpretation and application of laws quite difficult. Three, words can sometime be ambiguous and its meaning may change over time hence making them imperfect symbols to ...Download file to see next pages Read More
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