It is important to remember that these rules are secondary aids, and therefore used only within the context of our understanding of the provision as a whole. They are merely rules of grammar and a judge does NOT have to apply these rules if he or she believes the wording of the Act does not justify their use. Expression Units est Exclusion Alter ius: 'The inclusion of one thing is the exclusion of others. If the legislation produces a list of items then it is logical that other items are specifically excluded.
For example; 'guide dogs allowed's pacifically excludes any other type of dogs Ejusdem Generis: 'Where general words follow a list of specific words then the general words must be read according to the genus of the preceding specific words' For example; a goldfish could not be considered to be in the same class as 'Lions, tigers, giraffes and other animals' as it does not fall into the same grouping or genus. Noscitur a Sociis: 'a word is known by its associates' The meaning of the word is affected by the surrounding words and should be interpreted accordingly. Take the example of 'burning, tearing, or otherwise destroying' the Ejusdem Generis rule would read 'or otherwise destroying' to be read in the light of burning or tearing (in the same genus). The Noscitur a Sociis rule could only apply if the section read 'burning, tearing, mutilating or defacing'.
From the surrounding words, especially 'mutilating' and 'defacing' it seems that this act does not have to be complete, burning could be read as including partial burning. Ignorant ia Leges non Exc usat: 'Ignorance of the law is no defence' Using the Law Library Cases are a primary source of law (you can have access to what was actually said by the judges when making their decision on a case) - this is called a REPORT of a case. Reports of cases are contained in books called THE LAW REPORTS. They are the closest we have to 'official reports' but there is no official set of Law Reports in England and Wales. The Law Reports.
Shelved alphabetically. Volumes according to the year. All shelved under L. Four different types Chancery Reports, Appeal Cases, Queens Bench (or Kings Bench) and Family. Cases is Law Reports are considered the most authoritative version The All English Law Reports: Used when trying to find a case in the All England, not official but generally accepted as such. The Weekly Law Reports: For finding cases of Weekly Law, also semi-official Citations Example: Pepper v Hart  1 ER 42 The year: Square brackets are used to indicate that the volumes are released on an annual basis - in other words one or more volumes per year.
The year is vital information to find the case report. Round brackets are used where the reports are in a numbered series unrelated to the year - the volume number will be much greater, and the year is not essential information to find the case report. The Volume: If there is only one annual volume of the particular law report then the number is simply omitted. If the year is in round brackets, you'd expect to see a much higher volume number, because the numbers go from the start of the set to the present, not starting from 1 each year. You are much more likely to use reports with annual volumes. The Law Report: Indicated by an abbreviation All ER or AER - All England Law Reports WLR - Weekly Law Reports AC - Appeal Cases (within The Law Reports series) Fam - Family Division (within The Law Reports series) Ch - Chancery cases (within The Law Reports series) QB or KB - Queen's Bench or King's Bench (within The Law Reports series) The Page number: Tells us which page within the Law Report the case begins Finding cases without a citation Here you have to use the Current Law volumes, under the letter C.
Current Law consists of several sections: . The Case Citator. The Statute or Legislation Citator. The Monthly Digest (which at the end of each year becomes a Yearbook). Statutes Annotated The Citators tell you where to go to find a case or statute, and also tell you want has happened to it recently. Therefore, the Citators are often the essential first step of conducting legal research.
Current Law case citator: For when you only have the NAME of a case. If you look in the index, the cases are listed in alphabetical order and the citations are given. However, what makes things slightly more difficult is that the Case Citator is in several volumes - 1947 - 1976, 1977 - 1988, 1989 - 1995 and 1996 - 2000. It's probably best to start with the most recent Case Citator and work backwards, although trial and error with the volumes works just as well when all you are after is the citation.
Reading Case Reports. Dissenting judgments are always indicated in the headnote, immediately after the word "Held." What has happened to a case? This is about checking for recent developments in a case It might have been referred to in later cases for example: approved, applied, distinguished, doubted, overruled. The case itself might have gone to a further appeal, which could have affirmed the previous decision (making it a stronger precedent) or reversed. In order to get the full picture you need to "trace" what has happened to a particular case.
To trace a case you will again need to look in the Current Law Case Citator. As well as giving you the citation in the index, this also gives you details of cases which have referred to the case later, as well as journal references and other useful information. When you are researching the case in this way, it is important to work backwards. You should start with the most recent edition of the Citator and work backwards in time to the date of the case.
If you don't find the case, don't give up - this might mean one of two things: . the case wasn't referred to by any other case within the timeframe of the volume of the Citator you are looking at; OR. the case had already been overruled before that volume of the Citator started. To find out which of these possibilities is the right one (and therefore in order to find out if the case is still good law), still working backwards, you get the preceding edition of the Citator and repeat the process.
Finding Statutes The four mains ones to be concerned with are; 1. Public General Act and Measures - these are big red books; they contain the original text of statutes as at the date of the Royal Assent and are the official publication 2. Statutes in Force - another official publication which contains the updated versions of the various Acts - these are not particularly user friendly so it will depend on what you are looking for 3. Halsbury's Statutes - you are likely to learn more about using Halsbury later in your course, so we will leave this for the time being 4. Current Law Statutes Annotated - this contains the text of the Act plus, if it is an important Act, some accompanying (unofficial and in no way legally binding) explanatory notes on it Unlike cases, which may or not be in any particular law report (and therefore you need the citation in order to find them) Acts of Parliament are the official law of the land and therefore every Act will be in each set of volumes (the updated volumes only contain current legislation of course). This is what makes finding statutes easier than cases.
If a statute has been repealed then it is no longer good law. Finding if a Statute has been repealed or amended There are two main routes to doing this: using an updater set of statutes, like Statutes in Force or Halsbury, or using the Current Law Statute (or Legislation) Citator.