Statutory interpretation is where judges interpret the meanings of words in a statute to determine and classify if and how it will apply in similar or different cases. This statutory interpretation or judicial interpretation can be created and applied as'judicial precedents' for other cases. Judges are making laws when determining the words in an Act.
Statutes need interpreting for a number of different reasons. Parliaments language in acts of parliament can be ambiguous and unclear. Many words in an act may need definitions and classifications. The interpretation of the statute helps to clarify the intention and words of the statute. An example of this is the SA Road Traffic Act in the case of R v McGuinness, which needed to be interpreted so that the word "driving" was clearly defined to clearly understand what the term "driving" involved.
With changes in time and circumstance there is a change in society's values and attitudes and therefore their must be a change in the way statutes are interpreted. An example regarding the legislation on telephonic devices, is the wording "other like services" meant to include fax or digital photographs? This must be decided by statutory interpretation.
Many meaning of words has changed from there past meanings and statutory interpretation is needed to explain exactly what the words mean and what the Act is intended for.
It is also needed for ambiguities, when different words and meanings are used in Acts and Regulations were disputes are created.
The complexity of the law in areas such as taxation law can be very complicated and cause disputes regarding the meaning of the legislation, statutory interpretation is required to solve this problem. It is needed to decide how words of an Act apply to a particular case.
Parliamentary aids or guidance along with common law guidance is used when deciding the meaning of statutes and regulations. Pa…