For the avoidance of doubt, legislators often include sections on „definitions“ in a statute that explicitly define the key terms used in that statute. [3] But some laws completely omit a definition section or (more often) fail to define a particular term. The simple meaning rule attempts to guide courts faced with disputes over the meaning of a term not defined by law or the meaning of a word in a definition itself. The use of the literal rule is illustrated by Fisher v. Bell (1960). The Offensive Weapons Restriction Act of 1959 made it a criminal offence to offer for sale certain offensive weapons, including flick knives. James Bell, a Bristol shopkeeper, showed off such a pistol in his window in Broadmead`s arcade. The Divisional Court ruled that he could not be convicted because Mr. Bell, who had given the words of the Act a narrow literal meaning, had not offered the knives for sale. In contract law, placing something in a storefront is not technically an offer to sell; it is simply an invitation to deal. (An invitation to a treatment is an invitation to make offers, for example by displaying goods in a display case.) It is the customer who makes an offer to the store when he offers money for an item for sale. The court confirmed that the merchant had not made an offer to sell in the literal sense of the offer and was therefore not guilty of the crime. Parliament then amended the law to clarify that the display of a knife in a shop window is a criminal offence.

Whiteley is an example of how the literal law of legal interpretation can often have ridiculous consequences in the implementation of legislation. After finding that the word „breed“ had a narrower meaning than „type“, the court had to list certain criteria for deciding on the delimitation of the phrase „any dog of the type known as a pit bull terrier“. It was up to the Crown Court to decide, on the basis of the evidence, what the checklist or limits should look like. It was expected that both courts would use the „ABDA“ benchmark as a guideline after the hearing. As mentioned above, a breed standard for pit bull terriers has been established in the United States. However, on the basis of the evidence submitted to them, the courts considered that, even if a dog did not meet the specifications listed by `ABDA`, its breed could not be determined on the basis alone. Drafting – Law 2009The Perpetuity and Accumulations Act, 2009 effectively applies the rule against perpetuities arising from future servitudes granted on or after April 6, 2010, so that a draftsman no longer has to worry about specifying a permanent duration. Any restriction on the exercise of servitude This is sometimes called the rule of clear and gentle meaning, where the law is interpreted according to the ordinary meaning of the language, unless the result is cruel or absurd. See, for example, Rector, Holy Trinity Church v. United States, 143 U.S. 457 (1892).

Even the most vocal proponents of textualism and the simple meaning rule were willing to convert the simple meaning „strict“ into the simple meaning „soft“, to some extent, in certain circumstances; see e.B. United States v. X-Citement Video, 513 U.S. 64 (1994) (Scalia, J., deviant): In the United Kingdom, this is called the golden rule. That certainly cannot have been Parliament`s intention. However, the literal rule does not take into account the consequences of a literal interpretation, but only if the words have a clear meaning that makes sense in this context. If Parliament does not like literal interpretation, it must amend the law. The most common problem that leads to litigation is the interpretation of a legal instrument. The clarity and effectiveness of a bill go a long way in reducing court proceedings. In a literal construction regime, the level of ambiguity and uncertainty offers undeserved litigants the opportunity to exploit the loophole in the system.

It also results in the waste of time and cost for a litigant who is brought to court in his best interest, only to be disappointed later by the legal complexity associated with interpreting a law in this system of legal interpretation. Effective in reducing legal adventurism, but at what cost remains the most important issue in this system. It considerably restricts the role of judges, which has led to a strict questioning of the existence of the courts. If every piece of legislation were to be drafted and interpreted by the co-legislator, the existence of courts would be a farce. Although slightly different issues were raised in these two cases, the point of contention was essentially the same. The interpretation of the phrase „any dog of the type known as a pit bull terrier“ in „section 1(1)(a) of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991“. The term `type` with respect to dogs means a much broader meaning than `breed` and it was sufficiently inferred by the court in this case that the dog in question was `of the species known as a pit bull terrier` under `section 1` of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991`, which considers it an offence to admit the dog in public, without chaining it. However, in order to consider the presence of the dog in public as an „offence“, its characteristics must comply with the standards prescribed for the breed. However, since part of this standard includes the dog`s behavior, especially its aggressiveness, the law enumerates that the court should consider all information about a dog`s behavioral characteristics as relevant. Lord Keith seemed to support in this judgment the literal principle agreed upon by Lord Brandon, Lord Mackay and Lord Oliver.

Lord Goff, on the other hand, disagreed with the dissenting party that delivery from one depositor to a depositor or delivery of the goods by a depositor to a depositor can be described as acts of delivery of goods to another. He spoke out against the use of the word „care“ in this context in his daily speech. He meant in simple terms that the wardrobe assistant, luggage checker, warehouse clerk, and shoe retailer don`t provide the things their customers left with them. The simple meaning rule states that laws must be interpreted using the ordinary meaning of the language of the law. In other words, a law must be read word for word and interpreted according to the ordinary meaning of the language, unless a law explicitly defines some of its terms differently or the result is cruel or absurd. Ordinary words acquire their ordinary meaning, technical terms acquire their technical meaning, and local cultural terms are recognized as applicable. The simple meaning rule is the mechanism that prevents the courts from taking sides in legislative or political cases. [2] Moreover, it is the mechanism that underlies textualism and, to some extent, originalism. It is the oldest of the building rules and is still used today, mainly because judges are not allowed to legislate. Since there is always a risk that some interpretation will amount to the enactment of laws, some judges prefer to stick to the literal wording of the law.

In law, strictly literal interpretations of laws can lead to seemingly absurd results. .