28/03 Lecture 10- Words about Words
Two different approaches that aid in the argument of a case.
Noscitur A Sociis- words derive colour from those that surround them.
Example #1- All floors steps, stairs, passages and gangways shall… be kept
free of obstruction.
Suing his employer for injury sustained where he worked in a factory
storage area- had fallen due to something on the factory floor.
A factory floor being completely free of obstruction would be
unreasonable- the ordinary literal meaning of ‘floor’ on its own would not
Due to words following, one could argue that it only applied to the parts of
the factory where employees would pass each other every day.
The storage area is not a pathway, and the complainant is unsuccessful.
Example#2 - …to shoot, stab, cut or wound any person
The words shoot, stab, cut limit the meaning of ‘wound’ to the use of an
instrument outside the human body- having used an implement to ‘break
Context of the words immediately surrounding a word can limit the
definition and intent of the questionable word. Can make an argument
based on context.
Example#3 - …caused or permitted or suffered to go at large without a
leash or other implement.
Appeal of conviction due to the breach of a by-law.
Judge convicted Honkey’s owner- when he left he was chained up. How he
ended up on the street is unknown.
Suffer- to allow something to happen. Because the owner left for work, he
allowed the dog to go at large.
Appealing to the context immediate to this word- cause and permit implies
knowledge of the freedom of the dog.
If you take the larger meaning of suffer can be passive- whether there was
knowledge of it or not.
Because of the company it keeps, these two words require knowledge and
therefore so does suffer.
When the owner left for work, Honkey was chained up.
The release of Honkey by other people is not ‘suffering’, unless the owner
knew about it. Eiustdem Generis :
Statute has a number of specific words but is followed by more general
words. You can use the specific words to limit the meanings of the
Used in ordinary language as well.
Scenario number one : ‘where damage is suffered by any person as a result
of any wilful or negligent act or omission of any medical practitioner,
dentist, matron, nurse, midwife, attendant, or any other person employed
or engaged by any board and acting in the course of his or her employment
Should this happen, you have 6 years to get it into court.
‘any other person employed or engaged by any board’- broad
words- orderlies, assistants, councillors, physiotherapist,
radiographers. Anybody who committed a wrong against you in
All of the specific words imply that they have