Statutory Interpretation

Topics: Statutory interpretation, Golden rule, Plain meaning rule Pages: 3 (1072 words) Published: December 5, 2012
Statutory Interpretation Task
R v Clinton and Others [2012] EWCA Crim 2

In the case of R v Clinton, the appellant and his wife were both on prescribed medication because they both suffered depression and at that point the husband was going through financial difficulties and stress at work. His wife need timeout form the marriage and they agreed to a trial separation for four weeks, she left the children with her husband and moved into her parents’ house. The appellant did not cope well with this, and started looking at suicide websites. His wife came back weeks later and told him she had been having an affair, he asked her to come to the house so she could tell the children the marriage was over herself and she agreed. He had arranged for the children to be somewhere else on the day she was coming and was drunk. When she got to the house he beat her on the head several times with a wooden baton and then strangled her with a belt, later on he took pictures of her body and sent them to her lover. Some amount of interpretation is needed when a case involves a statute. Statutory interpretation is when the court interprets and applies legislation to a case, this comes when there is conflict in a case. There are rules that are used as guidelines when interpreting statutes; the literal rule, Golden rule and the mischief rule. The literal rule is where the court will give words their plain, ordinary or literal meaning even if the result is not is not very sensible. The idea was brought up by Lord Esther in R v Judge of the City of London (1892) when he said “If the words of an act are clear then you must follow them even though they lead to manifest absurdity, the court has nothing to do with the question whether the legislature has committed an absurdity”. If the literal rule does not apply then the golden rule is applicable. The rule used in this case was the Golden rule; this is because the court may have to choose between the possible meaning of a word or a...
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