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Review Your SQE 1 Practice Records

Examination Timing: 00H00M29S

In the course of a trial, various arguments are presented to the judge regarding the exact meaning of a particular section of a relevant statute. When deciding the case, the judge first looks at the natural ordinary meaning of the words used. However, such an interpretation results in an absurd meaning being given to the section. Therefore, the judge interprets the words in a different way that does not result in an absurd meaning. What method of statutory interpretation has the judge used?

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The judge has used the golden rule of statutory interpretation. The golden rule is applied when the literal interpretation of the words in a statute leads to an absurd or unreasonable result. Under the golden rule, the judge modifies the meaning of the words to avoid the absurdity, ensuring that the statute's purpose is achieved without resulting in an unreasonable or nonsensical outcome. This approach strikes a balance between the strict application of the literal rule and the need to interpret the statute in a way that makes sense in context.

Key Point: The golden rule of statutory interpretation allows judges to avoid absurd results by modifying the literal meaning of the words used in a statute. It is used when the literal rule leads to an unreasonable outcome, thereby ensuring that the legislative intent is preserved and applied in a sensible manner.

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