Statutory interpretation is the act or process of interpreting and applying legislation. It is the principles developed by courts for interpreting statutes. ON the other hand, it can also be referred to as statutory construction. Sometimes the words of a statute contain have a plain and direct meaning. However, in most cases, they contain some ambiguity or vagueness in the words of the statute which needs to be resolved by the judge.
In this respect, various tools and methods of statutory interpretations, including traditional canons of statutory interpretation, legislative history, and purpose are used by the judge to find meanings of statutes. The four rules used for interpretation are the literal rule, the golden rule, the mischief rule and the purposive rule.
Ideally, although some statutes appear simple and straightforward at first glance, upon further examination one may find that the terms of the statute do no directly address your legal issue. Statutory terms may be ambiguous because the enacting legislature did not consider the exact factual situation that you are analyzing when the statute was being drafted and debated. Furthermore changing circumstances may require that an old statute is applied to new issues that the enacting legislature did not expect or could not have foreseen. However several tools are there that can help you to suitably interpret the meaning of ambiguous words of statutes or to choose between multiple but plausible interpretations of the same statute.
In general terms, courts may as, ume that the w, rds of statute mean what an ordinary person would reasonably understand them to mean. Moreover, some courts adhere to the principle that if the words of a statute are clear and unambiguous, then the court need not inquire into the meaning of the statute. While persons own experience and the knowledge of grammar and the in-depth understanding of language is a good starting point, it would mean a lot to consult other sources of authority to determine whether a particular word or phrase has a specific meaning.
Work CitedCross, Frank B. The Theory and Practice of Statutory Interpretation. Stanford, Calif: Stanford Law Books, 2009. Internet resource
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