LAW QUOTES

LANGUAGE

[I]f the words properly construed admit of only one meaning, the Court is not entitled to deny to the words that meaning, merely because the Court feels that the result is not in accordance with the ordinary policy of the law or with what seems to be reasonable. The Court cannot mould or control the language.

Lord Wright
Robert Alderson Wright, Baron Wright, GCMG, PC
15 October 1869 – 27 June 1964
Treatise upon Toleration. Translated from French by T.Smollett and T.Francklin, 1764.

Rowell v Pratt [1938] A.C. 101 by Lord Wright at p. 105.

A linguistic canon of construction reflects the nature or use of language generally. It does not depend on the legislative character of the enactment in question, nor indeed on its quality as a legal pronouncement. It applies in much the same way to all forms of language … Linguistic canons of construction are not confined to statutes, or even to the field of law. They are based on the rules of logic, grammar, syntax and punctuation; and the use of language as a medium of communication generally.

Francis Bennion
Francis Alan Roscoe Bennion
2 January 1923
Statutory Interpretation, 2nd edition, 1992.