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Analysis of Sketch of a Theory of Statutory Interpretation: Jim Evans

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ANALYSIS OF SKETCH OF A THEORY OF STATUTORY INTERPRETATION: JIM EVANS

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Summary 3 History 4 Legislative Meaning 5 Analysis 6 Objective of the Author 6 The two prongs of interpretation 6 The meaning of the enactment 6 Legislative intent and its scope 8 Exceptions and side constraints as implications of legislative will 10 Conclusion 11

Sketch of a Theory of Statutory Interpretation: Jim Evans
Summary
In this article the author advocates his belief that statutory interpretation should be determined not only by an interpreter's understanding of the meaning of the legislature, but also by his understanding of the will of the legislature. By the will of the legislature the author means the practical judgment or decision that a certain rule should be part of the law, not the further purpose that the legislature may hope to achieve by that, which may be described as the meaning of the legislature. Sometimes these two sources of understanding pull in different directions, or conflict each other.
The author then postulates that respect for the meaning intended by the legislature and respect for the will of the legislature are two different things. He clarifies however, that this does not imply that they always lead in different directions, and in fact, in most cases they work together for two reasons. Firstly, the statute will almost always accurately express the will of the legislature for most cases, unless there has been a blatant blunder in legislation. Secondly, it will often be necessary to understand the reasons for a rule in order to understand its meaning, or to see how it should be applied in a difficult case. The author then develops the article into three sections. The first is an attempt to make a quick survey of some relevant parts of the history of statutory interpretation within the common law...

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