Faculty of Law

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2013 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

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FacultyFaculty of Law
OfferedNot offered in 2013


This course will compare the methods of statutory interpretation in different countries. We will examine the lawmaking processes of the various nations, and what effect different processes should have on statutory interpretation. To that end, we will examine the various goals of statutory interpretation. We also will consider the effects of operating under civil law versus the common law system. Likewise, we will consider the effects of operating in a parliamentary, democratic, or some other, system. The course has multiple aims. First, it will provide a survey of the various legal systems. Second, it will provide students with insights into why each system has adopted particular legislative and judicial rules. In that vein, the course will also consider whether the rules each system has adopted are optimal when compared to the wide range of available rules. Third, the course will provide a working knowledge of the theoretical underpinnings of legislation and judicial interpretation of laws, so that students will be able to discuss the merits or demerits of particular systems on a more abstract level.


  • To introduce students to various legislative procedures used in different countries
  • To compare the various methods of interpretation used in different countries
  • To encourage students to think critically about the reasons for legislation and the goals of the courts in implementing that legislation
  • To consider whether the transference of legislative or interpretative methods from one country to another could improve lawmaking


Performance in this class will be evaluated in three ways. The first is class participation. Class participation will constitute 5% of the grade. The second is a midterm examination. This midterm will be in-class and will last one hour. (It will be the first hour of class that day; we will have ordinary class for the balance of the time period after the test that day.) The midterm will constitute 15% of the grade. The third is a final examination. It will constitute 80% of the grade. It will be two and a half hours; students will be given half an hour of reading time before the time for the examination begins.

Chief examiner(s)

Contact hours

Students will be required to attend 36 hours of seminars, and undertake approximately an additional 108 hours of private study, including reading, class preparation, assignment preparation and exam revision time over the duration of the course.