statutory interpretation

(redirected from Rule of Lenity)

statutory interpretation

a generic title for the practice of reading statutes. Certain rules have grown up both in interpretation generally and for statutes in particular. A major aid is the Interpretation Act 1989, which lists a number of deemed interpretations. See EJUSDEM GENERIS RULE, EXPRESSIO UNIUS EST EXCLUSIO ALTERIUS, GOLDEN RULE, LITERAL RULE, MISCHIEF RULE, NOSCITUR A SOCIIS.
References in periodicals archive ?
To the extent this attitude is normatively unjustifiable, however, this Section contends that, as a purely epistemic matter, much more aggressive application of the rule of lenity is called for.
Rule of lenity Johnson, dissenting, agreed that the statute is ambiguous but disagreed with the court imputing the meaning of the former statute to the current one, saying that it effectively convicted the defendant for violating a statute no longer in effect.
Among such modes of resolution are the rule of lenity in criminal law, the executive pardon power, the application of equity jurisprudence to "hard cases" or manifest absurdities, the controversial but practically unstoppable power of jury nullification, as well as more rarefied mechanisms such as federal and state religious freedom restoration acts and the power of judicial review itself.
2) In doing so, it implicitly placed arguments based on the organization of the Code on a high pedestal, possibly above legislative history and substantive policy canons, like the rule of lenity.
It is not the case that judges were not looking at text or not thinking about the rule of lenity and such in statutory cases before Justice Scalia, but it is the case that Justice Scalia recast all of those varied interpretive presumptions into the collected doctrines of the field--doctrines that every good lawyer must now brief and cite in litigation, or else commit malpractice.
which is unwritten law (for instance, the rule of lenity and other
in a concurring opinion, relied upon the rule of lenity to negate the
15-628) ("[T]he Ninth Circuit's rule would criminalize a broad swath of conduct as to which Section 10(b) is at best ambiguous, the rule of lenity compels a narrower reading of that provision here.
The Court also has begun to pare back some of the absurdly broad Federal statutes under the rule of lenity, which holds that ambiguities in a statute should be resolved in favor of the defendant so long as it does not violate legislative intent.
205) As the rule of lenity suggests, sometimes normative canons trace directly to constitutional principles.
Substantive canons include the constitutional avoidance canon, the presumption against preemption, the rule of lenity, the presumption against extraterritorial application, and the clear statement rule against retroactivity.
57) They rebutted the majority's application of the surplusage canon and argued that any textual ambiguity should be resolved by the rule of lenity in favor of the defendant.