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Legal System | Statutory Interpretation

Intrinsic Aids: Evaluation

Model Answer | A Level

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Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of intrinsic aids

Using intrinsic aids, contained within the Act, means that judges are drawing directly on Parliament's words and so are upholding the doctrine of Parliamentary sovereignty.

Long titles can be useful when using the purposive or mischief approach as they can imply intention. For example the Christmas Day Trading Act 2004 long title makes it clear the aim of this Act is to restrict large shops from trading.

In some cases it is absolutely necessary to use Schedules for example the Hunting Act 2004 states ..Hunting is exempt if it is within a class specified in Schedule 1....

It would be unreasonable not to use punctuation as argued by Lord Lowry who said .. To ignore punctuation disregards the reality that literate people, such as parliamentary draftsmen, do punctuate what they write... (Hanlon v Law Society). Doubt over the use of punctuation arose because prior to 1850 no punctuation was used in Acts.

Clearly some of the intrinsic aids are limited in their use and require an element of judicial interpretation.

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