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Statutory Interpretation

This lesson introduces the student to the doctrine and processes involved in interpreting state and federal statutes. Statutes are a critical part of every substantive area of the law, so this is important background for every student, legal professional, lawyer and judge.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of the lesson, the student will be able to:

  1. Explain Statutory "Construction" and Statutory "Interpretation."
  2. Explain why knowing about "statutory interpretation" is important for lawyers.
  3. Explain how it is possible that a statute might have more than one legitimate meaning.
  4. Identify the primary consideration in Statutory Interpretation.
  5. Explain why it is sometimes difficult to determine the legislative intent.
  6. Apply the "Plain Meaning" Approach to Statutory Interpretation.
  7. Apply the "Purpose Approach" to Statutory Interpretation.
  8. Explain "Linguistic Canons" of Statutory Interpretation.
  9. Explain what Substantive Canons of Statutory Interpretation are.
  10. Explain the role of "Legislative History" in the process of statutory interpretation.
  11. Explain how a statute might affect the process of Statutory Interpretation.

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