Statutory Interpretation in UK Law

Leading Cases
  • R v Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions and Another, ex parte. Spath Holme Ltd
    • House of Lords
    • 07 December 2000

    Statutory interpretation is an exercise which requires the court to identify the meaning borne by the words in question in the particular context. The task of the court is often said to be to ascertain the intention of Parliament expressed in the language under consideration. The phrase is a shorthand reference to the intention which the court reasonably imputes to Parliament in respect of the language used.

  • Pepper (Inspector of Taxes) v Hart
    • House of Lords
    • 26 November 1992

    The days have long passed when the courts adopted a strict constructionist view of interpretation which required them to adopt the literal meaning of the language. The courts now adopt a purposive approach which seeks to give effect to the true purpose of legislation and are prepared to look at much extraneous material that bears upon the background against which the legislation was enacted.

  • Re McGuckian (No 1)
    • House of Lords
    • 12 June 1997

    During the last 30 years there has been a shift away from literalist to purposive methods of construction. Where there is no obvious meaning of a statutory provision the modern emphasis is on a contextual approach designed to identify the purpose of a statute and to give effect to it.

  • R v Secretary of State for the Home Department, ex parte Brind
    • House of Lords
    • 07 February 1991

    But where Parliament has conferred on the executive an administrative discretion without indicating the precise limits within which it must be exercised, to presume that it must be exercised within Convention limits would be to go far beyond the resolution of an ambiguity.

  • MacNiven v Westmoreland Investments Ltd
    • House of Lords
    • 08 February 2001

    But, as I am sure Lord Brightman would be the first to acknowledge, the Ramsay approach is no more than a useful aid. The paramount question always is one of interpretation of the particular statutory provision and its application to the facts of the case. Where this leads depends upon the particular set of facts and the particular statute.

  • R v Secretary of State for the Home Department, ex parte Simms
    • House of Lords
    • 08 July 1999

  • Farrell v Alexander
    • House of Lords
    • 24 June 1976

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Legislation
  • European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Act 2020
    • UK Non-devolved
    • January 01, 2020
    ... ... ” and “the EU Treaties” given by section 1(2) to (4) (interpretation) —(i) included Part 4 of the withdrawal agreement (implementation ... Rights in relation to entry and residence ... (1) (1) A statutory instrument containing—(a) the first regulations under section 7(1) (b) , ... ...
  • European Union (Future Relationship) Act 2020
    • UK Non-devolved
    • January 01, 2020
    ... ... 2020/1662, reg. 2(e) ... 6: Interpretation of the criminal records provisions ... (I951) In the criminal records ... for a term not exceeding 12 months, to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum or to both;(iii) in Northern Ireland, to imprisonment for a term ... ...
  • National Insurance Contributions Act 2014
    • UK Non-devolved
    • January 01, 2014
    ... ... (4) Regulations under this section must be made by statutory instrument ... (C25) A statutory instrument containing (with or without ... (4) In section 122(1) (interpretation of Parts 1 to 6) , at the appropriate place insert—“age-related ... ...
  • European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018
    • UK Non-devolved
    • January 01, 2018
    ... ... ” and “the EU Treaties” given by section 1(2) to (4) (interpretation) —(i) included Part 4 of the withdrawal agreement (implementation ... each House of the Parliament of the United Kingdom a draft of a statutory instrument containing regulations under this section unless—(a) the ... ...
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Books & Journal Articles
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Law Firm Commentaries
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Forms
  • T400)
    • HM Courts & Tribunals Service court and tribunal forms
    Upper Tribunal (Tax and Chancery Chamber) forms and guidance documents including the judicial review form.
    ... ... interpretation of the procedural rules ... This leaflet does not deal with appeals from ... addressed to you and there is a statutory right to make a reference (or bring an ... appeal) to the Upper Tribunal ... ...
  • guidance
    • HM Courts & Tribunals Service court and tribunal forms
    Upper Tribunal (Tax and Chancery Chamber) forms and guidance documents including the judicial review form.
    ... ... a full interpretation of the procedural rules ... This leaflet does not describe any of the ... matters relating to National Insurance contributions, Statutory Sick Pay and Statutory ... Maternity Pay entitlement and recovery, and ... ...
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