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Report No. 60

5.7. Recent English cases.-

But, in a fairly recent English case ,1 Harman L.J. said, "I have always been brought up to believe that to interpret an Act of Parliament by the side notes to the sections is quite inadmissible, although there are judicial pronouncements seeming to show that judges have not always refrained, as in my judgment they should, from giving some weight to them." In a latter case,2 it was held that the marginal note is not to be regarded as a legitimate aid to construction.

Contrary decision,3 therefore, appear to be out of tune with well-settled principle.

1. Parsons v. Laboratories (B.H.N.) Ltd., (1963) 2 All ER 658 (674).

2. Uddin v. Associated Portland Cement, (1965) 1 All ER 347 (349).

3. Stephens v. Cuckfield Rural District Council, (1960) 2 QB 373.

5.8. In fact, in a judgment of the House of Lords,1 Lord Reid specifically rejected the admissibility of side notes as an aid to construction.

1. Chandler v. Director of Public Prosecution, (1962) 3 WLR 694 (705) (HL) see also para. 5.10, infra.

General Clauses Act, 1897 Back

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