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Statutory Interpretation Notes

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This is an extract of our Statutory Interpretation document, which we sell as part of our Public Law Notes collection written by the top tier of University Of Ottawa students.

The following is a more accessble plain text extract of the PDF sample above, taken from our Public Law Notes. Due to the challenges of extracting text from PDFs, it will have odd formatting:

PART V: STATUTORY INTEPRETATION

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The first challenge includes applying broad principles to facts (sometimes the statute is old and it's difficult to apply to new situations) Words may hold different contexts There is an interplay as between the judiciary and the legislature (the judiciary gives a spin of expression of will from Parliament or the legislature) A strict interpretation gives more power to the legislature - if there is more ambiguity, the shift of power goes to the judiciary (Ex. The Charter)

Examples of Cases in which Statutory Interpretation was/is crucial: 1) Reference Re Remuneration Act, s. 100 of CA 1867: Parliament will interpret the salary of judges, but the salaries ought to be decided by way of a commission (contortionist view of statutory interpretation) 2) Vriend Case (s. 15 of Charter): interpreted s. 15 to include sexual orientation given that it is analogous to characteristics like gender/religion (the list is not exhaustive) 3) Ontario Human Rights Code (s. 45.9(1)): if a settlement of an application made under s. 34 or s.35 is agreed to in writing and signed by the parties, the settlement is binding on the parties. Ways to Interpret Statutes 1) By way of principles

* can be sets of guidelines

* without guidelines, the interpretation can be subjective (even with principles, the answer can be advocacy drive) 2) Reverse approach

* Think of the answer you want out of interpretation and pull it out of the statute by looking for principles that support your conclusion Principles of Statutory Interpretation

* Derive from statutes and common law

* In most jurisdictions, there is an Interpretation Act that allows for a specific type of interpretation

* Federally, we have the Interpretation Act which speaks of: o French and English statutes having equal value that gives meaning to both (and in the civil/common law context)

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The statutes are aids to interpretation as well (Ex. Through definitions) Original source from common law to interpret statutes comes from doctrine (scholarly or academic work) o This doctrine can be included in jurisprudence Common law is key to interpreting statutes - earlier forms rely on strict interpretations Today's approach is the modern versus principle approach

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