How To Detect Ambiguity in Statute Law and Common Law
Legal education pays little attention to ambiguity. This leads to neglect of two important aspects of ambiguity.
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by Christopher Enright
Legal education pays little attention to ambiguity. This leads to neglect of two important aspects of ambiguity:
Explaining the various forms that ambiguity can take.
Developing ways of identifying ambiguity.
This book seeks to address these problems:
It explains a method for determining if there is an issue of interpretation. Discussion of this task is a noticeable absence from the much used IRAC method for answering a problem question.
The book presents a method for lawyers to use once they have detected that there is an issue. At this point a lawyer has to define the ambiguity by identifying the meanings that constitute the ambiguity. There are three methods – using a dictionary, using the ambiguous words in a range of contexts as a way of identifying how far the meaning stretches and using a catalogue of common forms of ambiguity as a prompt. This catalogue includes the special form of ambiguity known as implication where a text may implicitly require that something be added to or subtracted from the text as the legislature has enacted it.
This book describes a structured approach to legal research consisting of 12 steps. The idea is to present a step by step approach to legal research that is as foolproof as human endeavour can make it.
Vast numbers of statutes rule our lives. Many of them are not easy to read. Parts of some are almost impossible to read. This book sets out some ways of drafting statutes that makes them easier to read.
This book starts from the ground up to explain the logical structure and function of a privative clause. It then considers in a critical way the reasoning of the High Court. It points out aspects that need further attention because the court’s reasoning is unsatisfactory. It also points out relevant legal considerations that the court has so far overlooked.
The skill of interpreting a statute is important for one good reason – the outcome of a case commonly enough depends on how a court interprets an ambiguous provision in a statute. Yet despite the importance of interpreting statutes there have been no serious attempts so far to describe an effective method for performing the task.
Lawyers tend to be skills averse. They absorb some way of performing various tasks with law but without explicit or proper instruction. This lessens their ability to learn law as students and to work with law as legal practitioners. This book aims to rectify this problem.
There are numerous sources of law in Australia, which possesses sixteen legal systems, being the Commomwealth, six states and nine territories. The purpose of this book is to explain the nature of the sources of law used in these legal systems.
The primary purpose of this book is to provide law students with the text of constitutional legislation and documents. Law students need these in several types of courses. The obvious courses are introductory law courses as well as public law courses on constitutional law, administrative law and human rights.
The purpose of this book is to state the major principles of constitutional law in a simple and straightforward manner. It is designed as a first reader in the subject prior to attacking the intricacies of federal constitutional law later in a law course.
This book explains how to answers a problem question. It does this by providing a model. Naturally this model incorporates advice on how to perform the four fundamental skills that are needed to answer a problem question.