Describe the purposive approach using the source and decided cases to illustrate your answer.

The purposive approach can be compared to the mischief rule, but it not only looks at what gap might have existed in the law previously, it tries to identify what Parliament meant to achieve. It looks at the purpose of the Act.

Grade: A-C | £3.99.

The essay describes the purposive approach to statutory interpretation at some length.  In so doing comparisons are made with the mischief rule.

The court's use of external aids, such as reports from the Law Commission, are also raised, as is the use of Hansard, subject to limitations set out in the case of Pepper v Hart (1993).

The answer is illustrated by the following additional cases:

  • Davis v Johnson (1979);
  • IRC v McGukian (1997);
  • Coltman v Bibby Tankers Ltd (1988);
  • R v Registrar General ex parte, Smith (1990);
  • Magor and St Mellons v Newport Corporation (1950);
  • Three Rivers District Council v Bank of England (1996);

The views of Lord Denning about the role of judges are also set out in the answer.


(Word count 1284)

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