Statutory Interpretation: The Mischief Rule

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Statutory Interpretation: The Mischief Rule

  1. 1. T heMischiefRuleMemory Game
  2. 2. VFacts: The defendants were prostitutes who had been charged under theStreet Offences Act 1959 which made it an offence to solicit in a publicplace. The prostitutes were soliciting from private premises in windows oron balconies so could be seen by the public.Held: The court applied the mischief rule holding that the activities of thedefendants were within the mischief the Act was aimed at even thoughunder a literal interpretation they would be in a private place.
  3. 3. VFacts: D was in charge of a bicycle whilst drunk. It is an offenceto be drunk in charge of carriageHeld: a bicycle is a "carriage" the mischief was drunks on thehighway being in charge of transport
  4. 4. T heMischiefRuleAnswers
  5. 5. The mischief rule wasdeveloped in Heydonscase (1584)
  6. 6. What was the commonlaw before making theAct?
  7. 7. What was the mischief anddefect for which the common lawdid not provide?
  8. 8. What was the remedyParliament passed tocure the mischief?
  9. 9. What was the truereason for the remedy?
  10. 10. The role of the judge is tosuppress the mischief andadvance the remedy.
  11. 11. The judge should look at the gap ormischief that the Act was intended tocover and interpret the Act to coverthat gap.
  12. 12. The mischief rule issimilar to the purposiveapproach.
  13. 13. Smith v Hughes(1960) VFacts: The defendants were prostitutes who had been charged under theStreet Offences Act 1959 which made it an offence to solicit in a publicplace. The prostitutes were soliciting from private premises in windows oron balconies so could be seen by the public.Held: The court applied the mischief rule holding that the activities of thedefendants were within the mischief the Act was aimed at even thoughunder a literal interpretation they would be in a private place.
  14. 14. Corkery v Carpenter(1950) VFacts: D was in charge of a bicycle whilst drunk. It is an offenceto be drunk in charge of carriageHeld: a bicycle is a "carriage" the mischief was drunks on thehighway being in charge of transport

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