Statutory Interpretation in Anglo-Saxon Legal Order (Selected Issues)

Andrzej Korybski


The understanding and methods of statutory interpretation are influenced predominantly by the relevant legal culture which positions statutory interpretation and public implementing bodies within public government structures and the proper social context. The varied understanding and methods of statutory interpretation also results from different state system solutions adopted by particular countries. This also pertains to statutory interpretation across the member states of the European Union. The key differences in the understanding of the substance, methods and aids of statutory interpretation in Europe stem from the different legal cultures which have shaped the so-called British legal order (in England and Wales) on the one hand and the legal orders of the remaining EU member states on the other. Statutory interpretation in continental Europe is shaped within the framework of statutory law system: the supremacy of Constitution and statutes enacted exclusively by parliament. One of the fundamental principles of statutory interpretation in these countries is a competence-based and – to a large extent – institutional division between legislative processes and their results (i.e. legal acts containing legal norms) and processes of application of law and their outcomes (i.e. legal decisions in individualized cases). That distinction is not observed in common law legal orders because of the precedent activity of courts. An elaborative presentation of statutory interpretation in statutory law systems is the issue of the next point of this article. This point goes on to present the characteristic features of statutory interpretation in Anglo-Saxon legal order, with particular attention paid to the root causes for the differences in the understanding, methods (approaches), rules and aids of statutory interpretation in common law culture.


common law culture; statutory legislation; statutory interpretation; rules and aids of statutory interpretation; comparing legal cultures

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Data publikacji: 2017-01-30 09:59:12
Data złożenia artykułu: 2016-08-04 13:17:20


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