Golden Rule

Lily Gray
Flashcards by Lily Gray, updated more than 1 year ago
Lily Gray
Created by Lily Gray almost 7 years ago


A-Level Law (Statutory Interpretation) Flashcards on Golden Rule, created by Lily Gray on 11/18/2013.

Resource summary

Question Answer
What is the Golden rule? Its the exception to the literal rule. The GR says that the LR should be followed the ordinary sense of the world must be adhered to unless the result is absurd, repugnant or is inconsistent with the statue.
What is the narrow approach to the golden rule? This is when a word has more than one literal meaning, it allows the judge to choose the one that avoids absurdity.
Name a case which describes the narrow approach R v Allen Facts - The defendant married a woman when he was already married. Statute - Included the phrase 'to marry again' - bigamy Problem - It had 2 meanings 1) Go through a marriage ceremony 2) To actually become the spouse of someone Outcome (LR)- Lawyer said it is impossible to marry again, so NOT guilty Outcome (GR) - GUILTY as it avoids absurdity
What is the broad approach? Allows the court to change the meaning of a statute if there is only one literal meaning but that meaning leads to an absurdity.
Name a case which describes the broad approach. Adler v George Facts - Defendent broke into the base and obstructed people inside the base. Statute - an offence to 'obstruct the armed forces in the vicinity of a military base.' Outcome (LR) - NOT GUILTY as they weren't outside Outcome (GR) - GUILTY 'would be absurd if you could be guilty outside the base but not inside the base'
What are the 2 advantage of the GR? 1) Its application prevents absurdities 2) Its application puts into practice what Parliament meant
Name the case which helps describe the advantage that it prevents absurdities. Re Sigsworth Facts - Son murdered his mother and she had not made a will Statute - Intestacy - he was her sole issue and stood to inherit her estate - 'when a person died without leaving a will' Outcome (LR) - He would've gained the estate Outcome (GR)- As this would've been a repugnant result, he was therefore titled to nothing. They had to re-write the intestacy rules so he was excluded.
Name the case which helps describe the advantage that it puts into practice what Parliament meant Adler v George The fact that the LR would've not been the result Parliament meant by the Act. By using the GR the court have applied what their real intention would be - that you should be guilty for attacking a military base from the outside but not the inside.
What are the 2 disadvantages of the GR 1) Difficult to draw a line between the LR and the GR and can be difficult to predict which one the judge might use so therefore hard for lawyers to advise clients. 2) Its unconstitutional and gives too much power to the courts - choose the rule which fits their purpose in order to gain the result they want, alter statutes, breaches parliamentary sovereignty.
Name a case which describes the disadvantage that the GR is unconstitutional Inco Europe v First Choice Distrubution They inserted the correct words in
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