Interpretation of statutes/Gesetzesauslegung

On an ITI list, a member was looking for this quotation on plain legal English:

One of the most colourful criticisms of legal language remains however that of Harman L.J. in Davy v. Leeds Corporation.14
“To reach a conclusion on this matter involved the court in wading through a monstrous legislative morass, staggering from stone to stone and ignoring the marsh gas exhaling from the forest of schedules lining the way on each side. I regarded it at one time, I must confess, as a slough of despond through which the court would never drag its feet, but I have, by leaping from tussock to tussock as best I might, eventually, pale and exhausted, reached the other side.” (at page 394)

The same search turned up an Irish Consultation Paper on statutory drafting and interpretation: plain language and the law.

This is interesting in that it shows how much less flexible Irish (and English) interpretation of statutes is than that in most other countries. It mentions the ‘teleological’ approach too.

Incidentally, the examples of active and passive confirm what I wrote yesterday: that in statutes it’s important to know the subject of a verb.

There is also the subsequent report on the same topic, which appeared later.

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