Starter The Queens Speech – http://news.bbc.co.uk/democracylive/hi/house_of_lords/newsid_8364000/8364950.stm What do you think? How many Bills are to be introduced?
Objectives To understand what internal and external aids of interpretation are To understand the Purposive Approach
Mischief This is the oldest rule and was first used in Heydon’s Case in 1584. In this case it was held that the court should consider 4 things: What the common law was before the Act was passed What the mischief was that the Act was designed to remedy The remedy proposed in the Act The reason for the remedy
Mischief Lord Denning spoke of filling the gaps that Parliament had left inadvertently, but his view was too radical for most judges to follow.
Mischief Jones v Wrotham Park Settled Estates (1980) Lord Diplock said that the mischief rule should not be used in all cases, but only when the following circumstances apply: The mischief can be seen clearly from the Act It was apparent that Parliament had overlooked the problem The words required to be added could be identified with a high degree of certainty.
Mischief Royal College of Nursing v DHSS (1981) The Abortion Act 1967 said that pregnancies had to be “terminated by a registered practitioner”. Because of advances in medical techniques, part of the process was being carried out by nurses, under the supervision of a doctor. House of Lords argued the mischief was backstreet abortions and that the Act simply required that abortions be carried out under medical supervision.
Advantages and Disadvantages of the Mischief Rule
Activity From Heydon’s Case, what four things should the courts consider when applying the mischief rule? From Jones v Wrotham Park, what limits are placed on when the mischief rule should be used? Identify 2 cases that illustrate the mischief rule being used. How might the use of the mischief rule save time in Parliament? What criticism could be made of this argument?
Check your understanding List all the words you associate with Statutory Interpretation Now use these words to write an explanation as to what Statutory Interpretation is.
The Purposive Approach This is a modern version of the mischief rule, but takes it further by not just looking at the evil or mischief that Act was designed to put right, but looking for the purpose of the Act. The Law Commission described it as looking for the “positive social purpose of the legislation”
The Purposive Approach Pepper v Hart (1993) Lord Griffiths noted: “The courts now adopt a purposive approach which seeks to give effect to the true purpose of legislation and are prepared to look at much extraneous material that bears on the background against which the legislation was enacted”