FAQ 1. What is primary rule of literal construction in the interpretation of a statute? –
In construing statutes the cardinal rule is to construe its provisions literally and grammatically giving the words their ordinary and natural meaning. This rule is also known as the plain meaning rule, According to the primary rule, the words, phrases and sentences of a statute are to be understood in their natural, ordinary or popular and grammatical meaning, unless such a construction leads to an absurdity or the statute suggests a different meaning. The words ‘natural’, ‘ordinary’ and ‘popular’ are used interchangeably. They mean the grammatical or literal meaning, except when there are technical words,
Some of the other basic principles of literal construction are:
Every word in the law should be given meaning as no word is unnecessarily used. One should not presume any omissions and if a word is not there in the Statute, it shall not be given any meaning.
The first and most elementary rule of constructions is that the words and phrases of technical legislation are used in their technical meaning if they have acquired one, and otherwise in their ordinary meaning, and the second is that the phrases and sentences are to be construed according to the grammar rule.
- 1 How do judges use literal rule?
- 2 How does the literal rule affect law making?
- 3 What are the two types of literal?
- 4 What is the golden rule of construction?
- 5 What is literal rule of interpretation in jurisprudence?
- 6 What is literal and golden rule of interpretation?
What is the best definition of a literal?
Top Definitions Synonyms Quiz Related Content Examples British
This shows grade level based on the word’s complexity. / ˈlɪt ər əl / This shows grade level based on the word’s complexity. adjective in accordance with, involving, or being the primary or strict meaning of the word or words; not figurative or metaphorical: the literal meaning of a word.
Following the words of the original very closely and exactly: a literal translation of Goethe. true to fact; not exaggerated; actual or factual: a literal description of conditions. being actually such, without exaggeration or inaccuracy: the literal extermination of a city. (of persons) tending to construe words in the strict sense or in an unimaginative way; matter-of-fact; prosaic.
of or relating to the letters of the alphabet. of the nature of letters. expressed by letters. affecting a letter or letters: a literal error. noun a typographical error, especially involving a single letter. QUIZ WILL YOU SAIL OR STUMBLE ON THESE GRAMMAR QUESTIONS? Smoothly step over to these common grammar mistakes that trip many people up.
What is an example of a literal meaning?
Literal language is used to mean exactly what is written. For example: ‘ It was raining a lot, so I rode the bus.’ In this example of literal language, the writer means to explain exactly what is written: that he or she chose to ride the bus because of the heavy rain.
How do judges use literal rule?
Judges have to interpret statutes and apply them. The judges frequently use this phrase true meaning or literal or plain meaning. Literal Interpretation of a statute is finding out the true sense by making the statute its own expositor. If the true sense can thus be discovered.
When was the literal rule first used?
Under this rule the judge considers what the statute actually says, rather than what it might mean. In order to achieve this, the judge will give the words in the statute a literal meaning, that is, their plain ordinary everyday meaning, even if the effect of this is to produce what might be considered as an otherwise unjust or undesirable outcome.
The literal rule says that the intention of Parliament is best found in the ordinary and natural meaning of the words used. As the legislative democratic part of the state, Parliament must be taken to want to effect exactly what it says in its laws. If judges are permitted to give an obvious or non-literal meaning to the words of parliamentary law, then the will of Parliament, and thereby the people, is being contradicted.
Lord Diplock once noted: Where the meaning of the statutory words is plain and unambiguous it is not then for the judges to invent fancied ambiguities as an excuse for failing to give effect to its plain meaning because they consider the consequences for doing so would be inexpedient, or even unjust or immoral.
Duport Steel v Sirs (1980) The use of the literal rule is illustrated by the case of Fisher v Bell (1960). The Restriction of Offensive Weapons Act 1959 made it an offence to offer for sale certain offensive weapons including flick knives. James Bell, a Bristol shopkeeper, displayed a weapon of this type in his shop window in the arcade at Broadmead.
The Divisional Court held that he could not be convicted because, giving the words in the statute a tight literal meaning, Mr Bell had not offered the knives for sale. In the law of contract, placing something in a shop window is not technically an offer for sale; it is merely an invitation to treat.
- An invitation to treat is an invitation to others to make offers, as by displaying goods in a shop window.) It is the customer who makes an offer to the shop when he proffers money for an item on sale.
- The court upheld that under the literal meaning of offer, the shopkeeper had not made an offer to sell and so was not guilty of the offence.
Parliament subsequently changed the law to make it clear that displaying a flick knife in a shop window was an offence. The literal rule has both advantages and disadvantages. Constitutionally it respects parliamentary supremacy and the right of Parliament to make any laws it might wish no matter how absurd they may seem.
- It also encourages precision in drafting and ensures that anyone who can read English can determine the law, which promotes certainty and reduces litigation.
- Some disadvantages, however, can also be identified.
- It fails to recognise that the English language itself is ambiguous and that words may have different meanings in different contexts.
The use of this rule can sometimes lead to absurdities and loopholes which can be exploited by an unmeritorious litigant. Judges have tended to over-emphasise the literal meaning of statutory provisions without giving due weight to their meaning in a wider context.
Why does literal rule create certainty?
Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the operation of the literal rule – The literal rule applies the law as Parliament has explicitly written it and therefore upholds the doctrine of Parliamentary sovereignty. It can be seen as democratic by directly following Parliament’s word rather than those of unelected judges.
Use of the literal rule highlights laws that need revising and laws that have been inadequately drafted. For example in Partridge v Crittenden, a case where protected birds were for sale but a loophole in contract law meant the defendant was found not guilty ( as in Fisher v Bell ). In reaction to the unfair results of these cases Parliament introduced a new contract law.
Literal rule creates certainty as by reading a law it is easier to determine the meaning and so reduces litigation. The Law Commission’s Report on Interpretation of Statutes (1969) noted the rule encourages precision in drafting. However, the literal rule can lead to absurdities ( Whitley v Chappell ), loopholes and injustices ( Fisher v Bell Partridge v Crittenden ).
- The rule fails to recognise the English language is ambiguous and ignores the limitations of drafting, a point made by the Law Commission in their 1969 Report.
- The rule can be criticised for its rigidity especially in relation to the issue of technological advances since the introduction of the Act.
- It means there is a need for Parliament to rectify any errors which can be costly and time consuming even when the meaning may be clear already.
The rule itself assumes Parliament intended for a literal reading of the Act. It also sometimes requires use of another rule or aid to interpretation such as a dictionary or punctuation so is not simply a literal reading.
How does the literal rule affect law making?
The literal rule observes the theory by avoiding judicial law making. In cases adopting a more purposive approach to interpretation, judges interpret words in line with what they believe Parliament’s intentions were. This can lead to accusations of judicial law making.
What is advantages of literal rule of interpretation?
The advantages of the literal rule: –
The literal rule enables the common man to understand the statue. The intent of the legislature is simple and clear. The literal rule respects the parliamentary supremacy in administration of justice. Under literal rule the law is quite predictable.
What is the importance of literal?
Literal and figurative language is a distinction within some fields of language analysis, in particular stylistics, rhetoric, and semantics,
- Literal language uses words exactly according to their conventionally accepted meanings or denotation,
- Figurative (or non-literal ) language uses words in a way that deviates from their conventionally accepted definitions in order to convey a more complicated meaning or heightened effect. Figurative language is often created by presenting words in such a way that they are equated, compared, or associated with normally unrelated meanings.
Literal usage confers meaning to words, in the sense of the meaning they have by themselves, outside any figure of speech, It maintains a consistent meaning regardless of the context, with the intended meaning corresponding exactly to the meaning of the individual words.
- On the contrary, figurative use of language is the use of words or phrases that implies a non-literal meaning which does make sense or that could be true,
- Aristotle and later the Roman Quintilian were among the early analysts of rhetoric who expounded on the differences between literal and figurative language.
In 1769, Frances Brooke ‘s novel The History of Emily Montague was used in the earliest Oxford English Dictionary citation for the figurative sense of literally ; the sentence from the novel used was, “He is a fortunate man to be introduced to such a party of fine women at his arrival; it is literally to feed among the lilies,” This citation was also used in the OED’s 2011 revision.
What are the two types of literal?
Decimal-literal(base 10): A non-zero decimal digit followed by zero or more decimal digits(0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9).b. Octal-literal(base 8): a 0 followed by zero or more octal digits(0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7).
What is another name for literal meaning?
Simple. authentic. reliable. matter-of-fact. genuine.
What is a literal give 2 examples?
Java literals – Literals are data used for representing fixed values. They can be used directly in the code. For example, int a = 1; float b = 2.5; char c = ‘F’; Here, 1, 2.5, and ‘F’ are literals. Here are different types of literals in Java.
What is the golden rule of construction?
The golden rule of interpretation and construction is important because enables the judge to modify the meaning of terms that have an absurd or anomalous interpretation. Doing so ensures that the aptest meaning is applied to the case at hand and any kind of absurdity is removed.
What is literal rule of interpretation in jurisprudence?
Literal Rule of Interpretation – In order to interpret statutes, the courts use various principles which help them understand the principles. One of the principles is called the “Literal Rule of Interpretation” The literal rule of interpretation has been termed as the primary rule of interpretation.
As the name suggests, the literal rule of interpretation means that the judge literally interprets the statute. It can also be called the plain-meaning rule or the grammatical rule. Statutes are constructed using the ordinary meaning of language given to the term and the judges are not required to interpret the terms in any other way.
In other words, the provisions have to be read word to word and no other meaning can be given to the statute. In order to avoid ambiguity, the Act generally has “definitions” mentioned in it. If a particular meaning is given in the definition clause, the particular meaning shall be used and no other meaning.
- In the literal rule of interpretation, the courts are required to observe the ordinary and natural meaning of words, interpret the phrase or words as it is.
- Judges are not required to add words or modify meaning and they must observe the actual intent of the legislature.
- It is the safest rule of interpretation.
The literal rule of interpretation, in a way, is against the use of intelligence in understanding language. Judges are bound by the literal meaning of the words and cannot use their judicial minds to deviate from it.
What is literal and golden rule of interpretation?
Is the golden rule better than the literal rule of interpretation? – Both the literal and the golden rules have specific applications and thus cannot be compared. The literal rule is used in most cases to extract the true meaning of the statute through the plain reading of the language.