An Analysis of Statutory Understanding


Statutory apprehension is the methodological analysis by which tribunals translate and use passage. Some step of interlingual rendition is often critical when a instance includes a legislative act. Some of the clip the looks of a legislative act have a field and consecutive frontward significance. But in many instance, there is some vagueness in the looks of the legislative act that must be determined by the justice. To detect the significance of legislative acts, justice usage different setup and schemes for statutory elucidation, including cosmopolitan criterions of statutory interlingual rendition, administrative history and ground. Within the legal power of the same jurisprudence, the bench may use regulations of statutory regulations of administrative bureaus.

Need essay sample on An Analysis of Statutory Understanding ?We will write a custom essay sample specifically for you for only $13.90/page

order now


Interpretation of Legislation

The rules applied by English Judgess in the reading of English statute law have been applied by Malayan Judgess in construing local statute law. It must non be forgotten, nevertheless, that when local statute law is being considered, it is local statute law and that English determinations on similar words in English legislative acts are non needfully in point. Thus, inRe A TaxpayerSpenser Wilkinson J said: the assorted parts of the English income revenue enhancement jurisprudence have to be construed in the visible radiation of the peculiar methods of appraisal in the United Kingdom ; so that even where the subdivisions of our Regulation are couched in give voicing similar to that of certain parts of the English income revenue enhancement jurisprudence it is by no agencies certain that those words will hold the same significance in the context of the local income revenue enhancement jurisprudence as they have in the context of the English income revenue enhancement jurisprudence.

Actual petition of English regulations might steer to restricted fluctuation. For illustration, the English regulation that a legislative act is non to be construed ( in the absence of express words or necessary deduction ) as prejudicing the Crown might hold given rise to the uncertainty in relation to the Malay States. Clearly the United Kingdom authorities, and those of Singapore, Penang, and Malacca were protected. But what of the authorities of the Malay States and of the Federation of Malaya ( in relation to Penang and Malacca every bit good the other provinces ) ? They were non portion of the Crown. Was the English regulation to be taken as using to the Crown merely, or to its equivalents as good? The actual and restrictive application was adopted by WilsonJ in Planters’ Loans Board V S. Mangalam; where he said:

The authorities of the Federation of Malaya is bound by the commissariats of any general Enactment of jurisprudence effectual in the Federation unless expressly exempted. The different attacks used by tribunal in England which has been adopted by the tribunals in Malaysia can be summarized under four chief headers.

The Literal Approach

This attack assumes that the significance and purpose of the legislative assembly have been expressed efficaciously by the existent words used in the act or passage to be interpreted and the tribunal needs to make no more than to give consequence those words. In an English instance,the Sussex Peerage Casethe inquiry before the Committee of Privileges was whether the Royal Marriage Act, 1772 extended to matrimonies celebrated outsideEngland, Tindal CJsaid:

The lone regulation for the production of Acts of Parliament is that they should be interpreted in conformity with the will of Parliament which passed the Act. If the words of the legislative act are in themselves precise and clear, there is no more to explicate the words in their natural and ordinary sense. The words themselves do, in such instance, best announce the intent of the jurisprudence giver.

In many instances, this attack enables the inquiries presented to the tribunal to be answered rather confidently and no troubles arise. It must be remembered nevertheless, that the actual significance of the words about ever depends to some extent on their context and that the context of the words in a legislative act is the whole legislative act in which they are found.

Incommissioner of Stamps, Straits Settlements v Oei Tjong Swan & A ; Orsthe respondents were executors of Oei Tjong Swan, who died in Singapore in 1924. The deceased was resident and domiciled in the Straits Settlements, and his will was proved there.The estate of the deceased included, apart from movable and immovable belongings in Singapore, besides movable belongings situated outside Singapore. The issue was whether estate responsibility was besides collectible on the deceased’s movable belongings outside Singapore. Section 68 of the Stamps Ordinance provided that:

In the instance of every individual deceasing after the first twenty-four hours of February 1908, shall, in instances specified in article 1 of Table A, levied and paid on the chief value is determined as here in after provided the belongings is passed on the decease of the responsibility base on balls rates of cast referred to in the article.

Then subdivision 2 of the Ordinance provided that ‘property’ includes movable and immovable belongings. In instance, the Privy Council held that the linguistic communication of subdivision 68 ( 1 ) obviously covered the movable belongings situated abroad as the subdivision said ‘all property’ . The Privy Council made a authoritative comment which runs as follows:

The reply to the inquiry ( sing the building of subdivision 68 ( 1 ) of the Ordinance ) must be found from an scrutiny of the Ordinance itself, for the best and safest usher to the purpose of all statute law is afforded by what the legislative assembly has itself said.

The Mischief Rule

When it is non clear whether an act is included in what is forbidden by a peculiar piece of statute law, the Judgess can use the mischievousness regulation. Where there is ambiguity in the jurisprudence, this regulation allows the tribunal to travel behind the existent words of the legislative act to see the job that the legislative act was supposed to rectify. The tribunal will look at the jurisprudence before the jurisprudence was passed. After that, look at the overall purpose of jurisprudence as discovered from reading the whole and ask, “Any mischievousness to it that the jurisprudence is intended to rectify? ” or “What societal intent? ” To travel beyond the text of the legislative act to find the map of the act, harm or intents are immensely different attack to the aureate regulation and actual attack in looking at this job.

Elliot V Grey( 1960 )

The defendant’s auto was parked on the route. It was jacked up and has the battery removed. He was charged with discourtesies under the Road Traffic Act 1930 utilizing an uninsured vehicle on the route. Defendant argues he did non ‘use’ the auto on the route with clear he can non drive.

Held: The tribunal applied the mischievousness regulation and decided that the auto used on the route as it represents danger and therefore the insurance will be required in the event of an incident. The legislative act is intended to guarantee the compensation when injured by jeopardies created by others.

In make up one’s minding the significance of a phrase in the legislative act, the tribunal can besides be helped by axioms that are non a regulation but an assistance to building. Two of the axioms that used are noscitur a societal known as an associate. This is used where the words are obscure or ill-defined in the peculiar word. Its significance is limited to the category or sort of thing as certain words in common. Following, ejusdem generic means that the same sort, category or nature. Under this regulation, a broad scope of general words are restricted to the same category as a more specific word that precedes it.

The Golden Rule

The aureate regulation is in fact analteration of the actual regulation ; used in order to avoid an absurdness or repugnancy. AsParke Bsaid in the English instance ofBecke V Smith: It is really utile regulation in the building of a jurisprudence to follow with the ordinary significance of the words used and the grammatical building, unless that is contrary to the purpose of the legislative assembly, to be collected from the legislative act itself, or leads to any manifest absurdness or repulsion increased, in where the linguistic communication can be changed or modified to avoid incommodiousness, but nil more.

It has besides been said that the aureate regulation may be used in two ways ; the narrow and broader ways. In a narrow application, regulation stipulates that if the word is non clear, the tribunal must follow the reading that avoids absurd consequences. In its broader application, the aureate regulation is sometimes used in penchants to the actual regulation where the words used can hold merely one actual significance. This is particularly so where considerations of public policy intervene to deter the objectionable reading. The regulation, nevertheless, has largely been used in a narrow manner, and in this application, the aureate regulation can be used where there is a reasonable alternate reading. The best instance to exemplify the application of this regulation is the instance ofRe An Advocate.

In this instance, respondent is an advocator in the axial rotation of advocators for Sarawak. In November 1962, he visited Kuching in the class of pattern, and as a favor to his friend, who imported women’s vesture arranged his advertizement and representative. He besides set the history and imposts formalities attended in his ain name and made usage of in his hotel room to ease concern.

Any advocator can be suspended from pattern in Sarawak, or his name may be struck off the axial rotation of advocators of the order of a justice for any of the undermentioned grounds: if he does any act which if committed in England, would render him apt to be removed from the registry of the tribunal, or suspended from practise, if a attorney in England.

In decision, this study describes the facts and world of jurisprudence instances today. As in this study is the reading and extrinsic act, the rules applied by English Judgess in the reading of English statute law have been applied by Malayan Judgess in construing local legislationthe actual attack, the significance and purpose of the legislative assembly have been expressed efficaciously by the existent words used in the act or passage to be interpreted and the tribunal needs to make no more than to give consequence those words. The aureate regulation, regulation is in fact a alteration of the actual regulation ; used in order to avoid an absurdness or repugnancy and the Mischief regulation, even when read in the visible radiation of the whole legislative act, that the words bear a field significance. Sometimes, the words or phrases are obscure. Sometimes in their application to peculiar fortunes, words or phrases though non possibly purely equivocal in themselves are obscure or unsure. All these Acts of the Apostless were discussed in the study above.



Ahmad I. and Ahilemah J. ( 1995 )The Malayan Legal System: Interpretation of Legislation.2 edn, Malaysia: Kuala Lumpur


Statutory Interpretation ( 2008 ) Interpretation Available at hypertext transfer protocol: // ( Accessed: 5 April 2014 )

Case Examples of the Golden Rule, 2013, retrieved on 2 April 2014, from

hypertext transfer protocol: //

Useful Website

Scholarly publications: hypertext transfer protocol: //

A good hunt engine for educational intent: hypertext transfer protocol: //




Get your custom essay sample

Let us write you a custom essay sample

from Essaylead

Hey! So you need an essay done? We have something that you might like - do you want to check it out?

Check it out