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STATUTES AND STATUTE LAW.
Statute Law: usual definition
Implies that Statute Law is certain
Causes of its uncertainty
1. Imperfection of language
2. Language and style of statutes themselves . 3
How far due to the framers of statutes 5
How far to the Legislature
3. Judicial interpretation
Statute Law: suggested definition
Distinction between legislative and judicial functions
What is a statute
What is authentic record of statutes
Legislature is presumed to know the law
Effect of erroneous declaration of law
Effect of recitals .
May alter the law
Legislature is presumed to know the construction put upon
statútes by the Courts
By earlier Parliaments.
Such construction recognised by implication
Legislature not presumed to make unnecessary alteration in
Common Law .
Alterations in Statute Law more readily presumed
Not to supply deficiencies
Not to inquire how statutes were passed
This rule has not always been recognised
Ancient theories of judicial supremacy
As to statutes made against the Law of God.
Against natural justice.
Modern refutations of that theory
THE AUTHORITY OF STATUTES.
Authority of statutes the highest known to the law
What can be done by statutes
Authority extends over the whole realm and to everybody
Everybody presumed to know Statute Law .
No prescription against a statute.
Equity cannot relieve against a statute
But authority of statutes is confined to its own province
Cannot alter the course of nature
Does not extend beyond limits of this country
Does not extend to foreign things
Does not bind future Parliaments
Does not extend to impossibilities
Limited by the necessity of using express words
Express words needed to bind the Crown
In what cases the Crown is not bound unless named 37
When the Crown is bound by necessary implication 39
When the Crown is bound though not named
Express words needed to take away jurisdiction of superior
To take away writ of certiorari
To give an appeal
To take away right of changing venue
Decisions as to the creation of exclusive jurisdictions
Express words needed to affect public or private rights. 47
When authority of statutes is extended by implication
Authority must be strictly followed
Where a new jurisdiction is conferred
Where matters of public interest are concerned
Where statute authorises interference with private property 59
When bye-laws are made in pursuance of statutes .
When certificates are given in pursuance of statutes 62
The authority of statutes cannot be evaded .
Agreements contrary to policy of statutes void
But it is difficult to decide what is an evasion
Evasion in the popular sense is not intended
Responsibility imposed by statutes cannot be shifted
How the authority of statutes may be enforced
Exception to rule where statute which confers a right
creates the remedy
The right and remedy must be created by the same
and by the same part of the statute
and must be co-extensive.
Contracts made in violation of statutes declared void
Actions cannot be brought upon contracts in viola-
tion of statutes
But where penalties are imposed for protection of
the revenue only, no prohibition is implied
Cases in which contracts themselves are not avoided
Protection given by statutes to those who act under their
To what persons it is given.
Justices of the peace
Constables and other officers
Persons executing public works
In cases of omission
To what persons the protection is not given.
There must be an honest belief that the acts done are
Reasonable belief not necessary
There must be some grounds for such belief.
THE CONSTRUCTION OF STATUTES.
General Rule of Construction
To ascertain the intention of the Legislature.
Intention is not to be guessed at .
Not to be inferred from external evidence
But the previous state of the law to be remembered 107
Rules in Heydon's case .
The whole Act to be considered .
The "golden rule” for the construction of statutes
Followed by most of the judges
To what extent it prevails
Consequences are not to be regarded
Sentences to be read grammatically
Effect to be given to all the words of the statute .
Instances in which words have been inserted
Instances in which mistakes have been corrected
Meaning of words
Ordinary grammatical meaning
Unless technical meaning has been acquired
Unless popular meaning at variance with proper
Words always to receive a reasonable meaning
Even though that meaning is not strictly accurate
Words not to be read too literally
Words read in a wider sense than they usually bear 131
Words read in a narrower sense than they usually bear. 134
Various meanings given to words
In the same Act.
Words to be read according to subject matter
Is the meaning of words affected by a change of circumstances? 141
Exception to the general rule of construction
Where language is doubtful.
Look to contemporanea cor positio .
Evidenced by unbroken usage
Usage must be uniform and general
Evidenced by judicial decisions
Convenience or expediency.