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Rules of Language, Extrinsic Aids

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Submitted By miltonn23
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Briefly describe what is meant by two of the following:
• Rules of Language
• External aids
• Internal aids [10]

Rules of language are also known as subsidiary rules and there are 3 rules.
The first rule is the ejusdem generis rule literally means of the same kind. So general words that follow specific words in a list are limited to the same type as the specific ones. An example of this is if an Act uses the phrase 'Cats, Dogs and other animals' the 'other animals' would include other domestic animals but not wild animals.
Examples in cases:
RE Stockport Ragged, Industrial and Reformatory Schools (1898), the phrase 'cathedral, collegiate, chapter and other schools' , court decided that 'other schools' had to be limited to schools of the same kind in those list, which were all church schools.
Powell v Kempton Park Racecourse (1899) The Betting Act 1853 made it an offence to keep a house, office, room or other place for the purposes of betting, however 'other place' could not include open-air betting becuse the places specified in the list were all indoors.
Gregory v Fearn, it was found that no tradesman, artificer, workman, labourer or other person whatsoever shall work on a Sunday, did not apply to estate agents.
The second rule is expresio unius est exclusio alterius, this literally means the mention of one thing excludes the other. It applies where there is a list of words which is not followed by general words and means the Act will only apply to the items in the list. If an Act specifically referred to Labrador dogs, it would not include other breeds of dog.
Examples in cases:
Tempest v Kilner (1846), a section of an Act included the words 'goods, wares and merchanidse' it wqas held that the section could not be taken to apply to stocks and shares.
R v Inhabitants of Sedgeley (1831) an Act referred in a list to coal mines, it could not apply to other types of mine.
The third rule is noscitur a socii literally means a word is known by the company it keeps. Under this rule words must be read in context.
Examples in cases:
Inland Revenue Commissioners v Frere (1965) a section of an Act referred to 'interest, annuities or other annual interest'. Because of 'other annual interest' that the first use of the word 'interest' must be restricted to annual interest'

External aids: External or extrinsic aids look at various other documents such as dictionaries, previous Acts of Parliament and earlier case law, Reference to Hansard (the official report of the proceedings in Parliament), law reform reports, international treaties or explanatory notes.
Examples in cases:
Vaughan v Vaughan (1973), a man had been pestering his ex wife and the court used the dictionary to define 'molest' and decided the definition covered his behaviour.
Cheeseman (1990) dictionary used to define 'passangers'
• using dictionary is quick and easy
• Using Hansard might clarify what Parliament meant. Lord Denning said that not to use it would be 'like groping around in the dark without putting the light on'

• Using Hansard might not reveal what Parliament as a whole intended. Pepper v Hart restricts the courts to considering what ministers said, but Parliament may have decuded not to follow the ministers view.
• Sometime what the minister said may not be clear.In one case Lord Bingham said that if the statement was not clear the corts would be tempted to copare one statement with another and run the risk of questioning proceedings in Parliament, which they are not allowed to do.

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