What are the principal powers available to the courts in connection with the interpretation and application of statutory legislation. ?How do judicial principles of statutory interpretation engage with these interpretive powers.?……………..
Ravindran (2011) explains statutory interpretation as the procedure of rending and enforcing legislation, the interpretation of the statutory is always necessary when it involves a statute. Some of the interpretations of a statute are easier for some magistrates, but sometimes the statute may be uncertain and unclear and therefore the magistrate must be able to solve where they feel it is not clear. Magistrates might use different means to interpret the statute depending on the structure of the statute, sometimes it may based on the purpose, the legislation or the traditional settings of a statute. There are various ways that may be used by a magistrate to interpret the statutory law. Riches and Allen (2011) suggest that a magistrate can use a practical approach towards the interpretation of the statute.
Gluke (2011) argues that the courts should relate to each others methodologies in the interpretation of the statute. Nevertheless, there are still some unresolved mysteries regarding the interpretation of the statutory legislation; when interpreting the statutory legislation, the courts should be able to use the same interpretation skills used to interpret other laws as used in the courts.
Law and Martin (2009) stated that the principal rule of statutory interpretation is to avoid the internal inconsistency and an act must be interpreted as a whole. The magistrates should take time and analyze the Act as whole so that they can be able to interpret it without having problems. The principal magistrate should avoid interpreting only a section of the Act as these may result in the whole act being misrepresented which may result into poor ruling in the application of the statutory law. The literal rule must also be respected; this is where words that have only one meaning must be given that meaning, giving a word more than one meaning may lead to conflicts in the interpretation of the statute. On the other hand, the golden rule must be strictly adhered to; this is where ordinary words are only interpreted by using their ordinary words while technical words are also interpreted by using their technical words; this may however be interpreted either way when illogicality occurs. The magistrate must also be able to use the mischief rule when interpreting the statutory law, this occurs when an act intends to cure a deficit in the law; any uncertainty that may occur should be solved to favor that aim. When a list of particular objects are classified into one general word, that same general word should be restricted to those particular objects, this helps the magistrates to be able to interpret the statute in an orderly manner and thus produce results that reflect the best interest of that statute. Also, the magistrate on the other hand should be able to distinguish when a group of objects is not classified into one general word as this will help the magistrate in isolating the subject area that is not required in the interpretation of the law, and therefore coming up with well summed up results.
When an act is found to be positively favoring the law it can be used in the interpretation of the statute, this can make work easier for the magistrate to interpret the law. When interpreting the statute and a word is found to be vague, it should be interpreted with the surrounding words. When a magistrate finds uncertainty while interpreting, he should refer to some external sources such as parliament. The magistrate should be able to clearly distinguish between the words in the statute.
Singer and La fond (2000) asserts that modern criminal law consist of interpreting statutes, it is therefore important to the rules in the statutory construction and how they apply to criminal cases. In the interpretation of the statute the magistrate should be able to understand the policy and legalities that achieve the constitution, since many criminal statutes are interpreted by the policy position of the criminal law. In this way, when a magistrate is interpreting the law he should clearly know what the courts require of the prosecution to prove their case. The magistrate does not require any proof of evidence of the common law required in the interpretation of the statute. The magistrates should instead be able to apply the common knowledge in the interpretation of the law. The magistrates however should be able to read the statute in plain meaning, this will help the magistrates to restore the public confidence in the statute and also uphold the statute to rule on its own especially where the freedom is calling.
The interpretation of the statute is on one side practical and on the other side theoretical because in law, it is impossible to interpret the statue without using other words. The magistrate should use a set technique to interpret the statute not only in theory but also in practice. There are some rules that relate to each other in the interpretation of the statute. (Sullivan 2007).
Bennion (2002) review a step by step guide in accessing the legislative intension and tackles the role of the human right act will interpreting the statutory. Frank (2009) asserted that the highest court the Supreme Court which resides at the highest level of the judicial hierarchy, should set the rules for the lower courts. Magistrates in the Supreme Court should set a good example for the lower courts in the interpretation of the statutory legislation. The Supreme Court may decide that no history of legislation be used in the interpretation of the statute and by doing so, the lower courts will always follow the decision of the higher court and will not consider any history legislation in its interpretation of the statute. This will result in uniformity in the interpretation of the statute. If the lower court does not follow this standard, any decision that they make could be reversed by the higher court. Goldsworthy and Campbell (2002) explain how the legislature should be able to distribute the powers in order to achieve workable solutions.
Kim (2009) claims that it is the duty of the external bodies such as parliament to legislate against a backdrop of clear interpretative rules so that the Supreme Court can determine the outcome of the language it adopts. When interpreting the statute’s text, the court should be guided by the basic principles where by the statute should be read in agreement as a whole with the other parts being interpreted in the context of the statute itself in a manner that fulfils the mandate of the statute itself.
Understanding the role of statutory interpretation in legislative policy making is critical Rodriguez and Weingast (2007) .The court plays a very important role in shaping of the statute and implementation of public policy through the declaration of disputes over the meaning of confusing statutory languages. Elkridge (1994) stated that the statutory interpretation changes the reaction to the political position, this means that if a new political administrative is elected, it may interpret the law differently from how the previous administration was interpreting it.
The statutory interpretation progress should be smooth and comprehended both in theory and in practice; this means that as the law is interpreted theoretically then it should also be implemented practically (Eskidge, Frickey and Garrett 2006). There are some problems that may be associated with the interpretation of the statute and some laws in the implementation of the statute (Evans 1988). Pearce and Geddes (2001) explain the practical approach towards the interpretation of the statutory and as much as the magistrate interprets the statute in theoretical way, he should also apply some practical aspects in the interpretation of the statute.
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