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(1979) JELR 69683 (HC)

High Court  •  21 Sep 1979  •  Ghana




“A statute or Act of Parliament is the will of the legislature.” This is the opening sentence in Odgers’ exposition of the nature of a statute as is contained in Odgers’ Construction of Deeds and Statutes (5th ed.), at p. 233. In his oft-quoted treatise on the Interpretation of Statutes (11th ed.), Sir Maxwell also indicated in his very first sentence the basic and paramount principle applicable in searching for the said “will” of the legislature. As is also so stated in Maxwell, “A statute is the will of the legislature and the fundamental rule of interpretation, to which all others are subordinate, is that a statute is to be expounded according to the intent of them that made it.” This rule is supported in Maxwell by reference to Coke’s Institutes, the famous Sussex Peerage Case (1844) 11 C1. and F. 85 and Fordyce v. Bridges (1847) 1 H.L. Cas. 1.

This fundamental rule of interpretation is the unruly horse of the judiciary of almost all common law countries. I cannot pretend…

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