Intentions in Interpretation

Richard Ekins

in The Nature of Legislative Intent

Published in print October 2012 | ISBN: 9780199646999
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191741159 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Legal Philosophy

Intentions in Interpretation

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This chapter considers some of the implications of the nature of the legislative intent for the practice of statutory interpretation. It argues that interpreters should aim to infer the legislature's intended meaning in uttering the relevant statutory text. This process of inference is informed by, and in turn informs, reflection on the reasoned choice the legislature likely acted to make and is grounded in the rich context of enactment. The chapter argues that legislative history does not form a main part of this context. Indeed reference to this history is not entailed by the centrality of legislative intent in statutory interpretation. In exceptional cases, interpreters have good reason to recognize that the legislature's intended meaning is qualified or extended by its reasoned lawmaking choice.

Keywords: statutory interpretation; legislative intent; context; legislative history; equity

Chapter.  17050 words. 

Subjects: Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law

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