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Statutory interpretation
 
Once Parliament has passed an Act, it then falls to the courts to apply the statute in a particular case. This can lead to difficulties where the facts of the case may not have been envisaged by Parliament or where there exist drafting errors or ambiguity in the statute. There exists The Interpretation Act of 1978 which provides certain basic definitions such as singular includes plural and he includes she. In addition the courts have developed rules to assist judges in interpreting statutes.
 
 
 

 
 
The rules of statutory interpretation (cannons of construction) 
 
 
  •   The mischief rule
 

Purposive approach word search

 
 
 
Although referred to as 'rules' they are not strictly binding and some commentators have argued that they are used to justify a decision rather than assisting the decision making process.
 
In addition to these rules there exists the purposive approach which derives from the European Court of Justice and must be used by domestic judges when applying a piece of EU law.
 
 
 
Also the judges are assisted by various aids to interpretation. These can be internal aids (also referred to as intrinsic aids) or external aids (also referred to as extrinsic aids).