Introduction to Legal Principles and Systems

Topics: Law, Common law, Statutory interpretation Pages: 7 (2195 words) Published: February 3, 2013
Introduction to Legal Principles and Systems

(A)What are the sources of English law? Discuss the relationship between legislation and judicial precedent. (B)Using appropriate cases, explain three judicial rule of statutory interpretation.

The English law system is one of the major European legal systems which strictly formulated by different procedures. At present, it has spread and implement in many other countries such as Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. This essay would discuss the three main sources of law, which are Acts of parliament, judiciary precedent and statutory interpretation and also evaluate the relationship between legislation and judicial precedent. Furthermore, the rules of interpretation that contain Literal Rule, Golden Rule and Mischief would be explained in the second part of this essay by several appropriate cases.

Sources of English Law
The source of law is means by which the law comes into existence and things with regard to law. Generally, the sources of law contain Acts of Parliament, judicial precedent, statutory interpretation, delegated legislation and European law. This essay would focus on discussing the acts of parliament, judicial precedent and statutory interpretation.

Acts of Parliament
Acts of Parliament which also known as statutes, are the most importance source of law due to the principle of parliamentary sovereignty (Elliott, 2010). According to Salter(Salter. J,1996), Statues are the fact law made by parliament, or it parliament wants to alter the existing law. As to establish an effective law, there are multiple procedures in the parliament. Firstly, there is pre- parliamentary process, usually the government department projected legislation and decide to issuing Green papers. Then following is the white papers which are firm proposal for a new law, thus going to the drafting process called bill. Furthermore, bill may be started in either House of Common or House of Lords, also go through the first reading, second reading, committee stage, report stage and third reading in both Houses(Martin, 2010). Finally, when the bill has been passed by the Queen, before it can come into act. This procedure is known as Royal Assent.

Judicial precedent
According to Chadwick(2006), judicial precedent refers to the source of law where decision of judges in the past create law for future judges to follow and it is the major source of law also known as case law. This precedent based on the Latin maxim stare decisi that stand by decision of past cases. For a system of precedent to operate effectively, binding and persuasive precedent and also the law report would be consider as sources of precedent. Indeed, Court hierarchy is the importance element in precedent which there is a force downward from European court, Supreme Court, Court of Appeal, High Court to Inferior Court. (Vollans.T, 2011)Each Court must follow the decisions by higher Court and all of them are bound by own previous decision except European Court, Supreme Court and Inferior Court.

Statutory Interpretation
Gillespie claims that sometimes because of the complexity of statute is not immediately clear what the section provides (Gillespie, 2009). One of the principle jobs of court is to interpret statutory material and apply their interpretation to the facts. Statutory interpretation is an essential element in source of law, as sometimes the words in statutes are an imperfect means of communication, there may be ambiguity. Also, a broad term may have been used which is not clear. Furthermore, courts would interpret legislation in accordance with one of the three rules, literal Rule, Golden Rule and Mischief Rule. In current, they are largely been superseded by the literal versus purposive approaches, but even so they are sometimes used. (Martin, 2010).

Relationship between Legislation and Judicial Precedent
There are three relationships between Legislation and Judicial Precedent, which...
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