Bennion on Statutory Interpretation
5th edition, LexisNexis, 2008
||Doc. No. 2008.013.000f
How to Use the Book
The book is designed to serve at all levels, from mere dip to thoroughgoing research.
Because it examines the subject in depth, the book may appear difficult. Like most
appearances, that is deceptive. The difficult books are the ones that treat their material
superficially. This is no more abstruse than what it describes.
The book takes the form of a Code (Man, said Lévi-Strauss, is a structure-making
animal). Drafted in a way similar to that used for Acts of Parliament, the Code is
divided into numbered sections. These are arranged in Parts, each with a brief introductory
The Parts are presented in seven Divisions, as explained in the Introduction (pp 14-17).
Each section of the Code is followed by a Comment. These Comments include numbered Examples,
many being relevant to more than one section. To facilitate cross-referencing, the Examples
are numbered in the order in which they appear in relation to each section of the Code.
Suggestions to the user
To gain a thorough knowledge of statutory
interpretation Read the book from beginning to end: it forms a connected narrative, with pictures
and stories. The book also forms
an introduction to, and summary of, Britain’s entire legal system: see p 8 below.
the basic rule of statutory interpretation See section 193.
To acquire an outline knowledge Read the Code without the Comments.
For a bird's-eye view Glance through the Arrangement
To ascertain the rules, principles, presumptions
and canons of construction and how they operate Study Part X.
To solve a particular problem Consult
To look up a particular point Use the very full Index.
court technique See Appendix A.
For a checklist of interpretative criteria See Appendix
For a list of terms defined in the Code or
For the updated text of the Interpretation
Act 1978 See
Appendix C. All but relatively minor details of the Interpretation Act 1978 are also
reproduced in the appropriate
in the body of the work. The explanatory white paper on the 1978 Act prepared by the
Law Commission is reproduced in Appendix D
To see how to interpret European Community
law See Part XXIX.
For guidance on the Human Rights Act 1998 See Part XXX.
the updated text of the Human Rights Act 1998 See Appendix F.