Cases

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1.Commonwealth v State of Tasmania
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commonwealth_v_Tasmania

2. Lee v Knapp
In Lee v Knapp [1967] 2 QB 442 an Act required that a motorist "stop" after an accident. The defendant claimed that they did in fact momentarily halt, before proceeding, therefore complying with a commonly accepted literal meaning of "stop". The judge found that in this circumstance "stop" meant halt and wait for police or other officials to investigate the accident. A literal interpretation was against the purpose of the law.

3a Smith v Hughes

SMITH v HUGHES (1960) 1 WLR 830

LORD PARKER CJ:

These are six appeals by way of case stated by one of the stipendiary magistrates sitting at Bow Street, before whom informations were preferred by police officers against the defendants, in each case that she ‘being a common prostitute, did solicit in a street for the purpose of prostitution, contrary to section 1 (1) of the Street Offences Act, 1959.’ The magistrate in each case found that the defendant was a common prostitute, that she had solicited and that the solicitation was in a street, and in each case fined the defendant.

The facts, to all intents and purposes, raise the same point in each case; there are minute differences. The appellants in each case were not themselves physically in the street but were in a house adjoining the street. In one case the appellant was on a balcony and she attracted the attention of men in the street by tapping and calling down to them. In other cases the appellants were in ground-floor windows, either closed or half open, and in another case in a first-floor window.

The sole question here is whether in those circumstances each appellant was soliciting in a street or public place. The words of s. 1 (1) of the Act are in this form: ‘It shall be an offence for a common prostitute to loiter or solicit in a street or public place for the purpose of prostitution.’

Observe that it does not say there specifically that the person who is doing the soliciting must be in the street. Equally it does not say that it is enough if the person who receives the solicitation or to whom it is addressed is in the street. For my part, I approach the matter by considering what is the mischief aimed at by this Act. Everybody knows that this was an Act intended to clean up the streets, to enable people to walk along the streets without being molested or solicited by common prostitutes. Viewed in that way, it can matter little whether the prostitute is soliciting while in the street or is standing in a doorway or on a balcony, or at a window, or whether the window is shut or open or half open; in each case her solicitation is projected to and addressed to somebody walking in the street. For my part, I am content to base my decision on that ground and that ground alone. I think that the magistrate came to a correct conclusion in each case, and that these appeals should be dismissed.

LORD PARKER CJ:

These are six appeals by way of Cases Stated by one of the stipendiary magistrates sitting at Bow Street, before whom informations were preferred by the respondent in each case against the appellant for that she ‘being a common prostitute, did solicit in a street for the purpose of prostitution, contrary to s 1(1) of the Street Offences Act, 1959.’ The magistrate in each case found that the appellant was a common prostitute, that she had solicited and that the solicitation was in a street, and in each case fined the appellant.

The facts, to all intents and purposes, raise the same point in each case; there are minute differences. The appellants in each case were not themselves physically in the street but were in a house adjoining the street. In one case the appellant was on a balcony and she attracted the attention of men in the street by tapping and calling down to them. In other cases the appellants were in ground-floor windows, either closed or half open, and in another case in a...
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