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Learning Legal RulesA Students' Guide to Legal Method and Reasoning

Learning Legal Rules: A Students' Guide to Legal Method and Reasoning (10th edn)

James Holland and Julian Webb
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date: 23 September 2023

p. 2699. Interpreting Statuteslocked

p. 2699. Interpreting Statuteslocked

  • James HollandJames HollandProfessor Emeritus, Bristol Law School, University of the West of England
  •  and Julian WebbJulian WebbProfessor of Law, Melbourne Law School


This chapter discusses statutory interpretation: the language used in a statute, the application of the language to the facts, or both. It covers the so-called rules of interpretation: the literal rule, the golden rule, the purposive rule, and the mischief rule, and why we still refer to them; examples of the ‘rules’ in action; secondary aids to construction; the use of Hansard; how judges choose to explain the construction they have placed on the statute; interpretation and the European Union; interpretation and the Human Rights Act 1998; interpreting secondary legislation; and an example of how to analyse a case on statutory interpretation.

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