Background :- Recently we published an editorial on Section 123(3) of the Representation of the People Act of 1951 and Supreme Court!!!
In interpretation of the particular section there was a debate on the Purposive Interpretation and its meaning. There is certain ambiguity with respect to the meaning of it and this is our attempt to clarify it.
A special note of Thanks to Sonu for bringing this up.
The purposive approach to statutory interpretation is used in the European Court of Justice. The literal rule would be of little use in the European Courts since there are several languages in operation and translation is not an exact science. Domestic judges are required to apply the Purposive approach whenever applying a piece of EU law.
Lord Simon explained the purposive approach in Maunsell v Olins AC 373 Case summary
“‘The first task of a court of construction is to put itself in the shoes of the draftsman – to consider what knowledge he had and, importantly, what statutory objective he had …being thus placed…the court proceeds to ascertain the meaning of the statutory language.”