Extrinsic aids

These are aids to interpretation which are outside of or not part of the act.

Extrinsic aids are sometimes referred to as external aids.  The courts look at these matters to help in the task of determining the meaning of the Act.

Examples of extrinsic aids are:

  • The historical setting
  • Earlier case law
  • Previous Statutes on the same subject
  • Dictionaries published at the time the Act was passed
  • Hansard  - the official record of debates in Parliament when the Act was being debated in the various stages
  • Reports of law reform agencies such as the Law Commission, which would have led to the introduction of the legislation
  • International conventions,regulations and directives which have been implemented and form part of English Law

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