Some statutes in operation today were passed a long time ago. Inevitably, through the passage of time, social norms at the time of enactment may now be unrecognizable. Two recent cases show contrasting approaches towards the interpretation of outdated statutory provisions. The first approach is seen in the Singapore High Court case of WX v.WW. That case concerned the interpretation of section 114 of the Evidence Act, a decidedly ancient statutory provision. The second approach was adopted by the Singapore Court of Appeal in AAG v. Estate of AAH, deceased. In that case, the Court of Appeal had to interpret sections 2 and 3(1) of the Inheritance (Family Provision) Act, which was enacted some 45 years ago. All things considered, legislative reform of section 114 of the EA is the best way to minimize the trouble here. But for now, when faced with an outdated statutory provision, the Court of Appeal's approach in AAG, while reaching a regretful result, is the preferable one to take.
Court decision, provisions, social conditions and trends, Singapore
Asian Studies | Courts | Legislation
Law, Society and Governance
Singapore Journal of Legal Studies
National University of Singapore
Two Contrasting Approaches in the Interpretation of Outdated Statutory Provisions. (2010). Singapore Journal of Legal Studies. , 530-545. Research Collection School Of Law.
Available at: http://ink.library.smu.edu.sg/sol_research/1415
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