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York University (35,597)
POLS 3135 (46)
Lecture

pols3135-oct11th2013.docx

4 Pages
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Department
Political Science
Course Code
POLS 3135
Professor
Ray Bazowski

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Friday October 11 , 2013 Public Law I- POLS 3135  Rules of statutory interpretation o Laws always have to be interpreted. * Contestation over the interpretation of laws  Legal presumptions in judicial decision-making  For example, constitution act 1867: o 24. The governor general shall from time to time to time, in the Queens Name, by instrument under the great seal of Canada, summon qualified persons to the senate; and subject to the provisions of this act every person so summoned shall become and be a member of the senate and a senator…  But in fact the Constitutional Convention in Canada says it’s the prime minister  “Time to time” At anytime? In practice they are summoned when there is a vacancy. You have to revert to convention  “Pearson’s” who counts as a legal persons? People, corps, governments. Can corps count? Only human beings  in 1867 women had no role in gov’t,thhey always said persons meant only men. Person’s case- 19 century persons meant men only “means men”. JCPC reinterpreted persons to mean men and women. Rules of Statutory Interpretation  Why are rules needed?  Intent if legislature o If they aren’t clear should try to figure out what the legislature intended.  “Reasonable persons test” o plain meaning according to the reasonable  Plain Meaning rule: o When a law is challenged before them , when its subject to different interpretations, we should start with the plain meaning rule. Prefer interpretation that is the most self evidence interpretation when reading it as is. What is the plain meaning of the rule in the statue  Golden rule o If the plain meaning isn’t evident. We should apply the golden rule that is avoiding interpretation that would give rise to absurdity. Avoid absurd implications  What is the mischief & remedy o Laws are designed to deal with some kind of mischief or wrong, so ask what kind of wrong and what is the remedy     Specific words help explain general ones nearby  Express inclusions of some items implies exclusion o Whatever isn’t included the court should determine that it doesn’t apply  Aids: o Interpretation statues  Legislations sometimes have interpretation statues. In criminal code for eg o Definition sections of statutes o Context in statute  Persons case , context in 1867 given this context persons means mean only o other similar statutes o legislative history  minimal weight. Why? o o  Books on rules of interpretation , & legal dictionaries  French & English text  International conventions & treaties (sometimes)  Preamble (but not marginal notes)  Edward Presumptions  Criminal law: in favour of accused o Innocent until proven guilty o Favor accused unless they are proven guilty o The onus is on the gov to prove they are guilty  Taxation law: in favo
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