English law may be defined as a body of rules, created by the state, binding within its jurisdiction and enforced with the authority of the state through the use of sanctions.” (Adams, 2000, p 1). This assignment will examine the English legal system and how it is interoperated through statutory and common law provisions. This will be illustrated through the use of relevant case studies, at the same time evaluating the ambiguities amongst the legal system and parliamentary laws. Parliamentary sovereignty creates laws which are enforced by the legal system thereafter.
Parliament supremacy is also called “parliamentary sovereignty, this means that Parliament is the highest source of English law; so long as a law has been passed according to the rules of parliamentary procedure, it must be applied by the courts” (Elliott and Quinn, 2013, p 3), it is the principle of the Constitutional law of the United Kingdom. These laws issued in the Parliament are known as statutory laws. “They include the devolution of power to bodies like the Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assembly, The Human Rights Act 1998, The UK's entry to the European Union in 1972 and the decision to establish a UK Supreme Court in 2009, which ends the House of Lords function as the UK's final court of appeal”. (UK Parliament, 2014).
Statutory Interpretation “becomes part of case laws in just the same way as any other judicial decision, and subject to the same rules of precedence. A higher court may decide that the interpretation is wrong, and reverse the decision if it is appealed, or overrule it in a later case but, unless and until this happens , lower courts must interpret the statue in the same way” (Elliott and Quinn, 2013, p. 54). Sometimes the words of the statute are straightforward, but in most cases, there is some ambiguity that is, it can be interpreted in more than one way or unclear. Law language sometimes gets misinterpreted, for example in the case of Goodwin, R V (2005), D’s Jet Ski collided with another Jet Ski, which the other individual on the Jet Ski was seriously injured. Under “section 58 of the Merchant Shipping Act 1995, which makes it an offence for the master of a United Kingdom ship` negligently to do any act which may cause or is a likely to cause serious injury to any person “(Slapper and Kelly, 2011 p 95). At the hearing a Jet Ski was suggested to be a boat thereby making it subject to section 58 of the Merchant Shipping Act 1995. The Court of Appeals in the case, considered the question and ruled out that the Jet Ski was not used in navigation as a vessel (boat), the literal rule that applied to this hearing a loophole therefore on appeal, the conviction was squashed, however was the individual was “charged under the misuse of drugs Act 1971” (Slapper and Kelly, 2011 p 95).
The literal rule requires the judge to give the word or phrase its natural, ordinary or dictionary meaning, even if this appears to be contrary to the intentions of parliament. As Lord Reid said in Pinner v Everett (1969), “In determining the meaning of any word or phrase in a statute, the first question to ask is always what is the natural and ordinary meaning of that word or phrase in its context in the statute,” (Douglas-Scott, 2002, p 207).
Under the literal rule Billy will not be affected. It States “under this rule, the judge is required to consider what the legislation actually says rather considering what it might mean” due to him owning 3 small LGV vans which carry less than 3.5 tonnes and is used for charitable purposes. In some cases judges are likely to assume certain things and will be taken to be true, unless a good argument is given to demonstrate that the presumption should not apply to the hearing. Judges base their presumptions on that if “parliament has not changed the law retrospectively (stature does not affect past acts, to make something legal at that it was done)”, ( Sites.google.com, 2014), the froe the rule of