Intrinsic aids, of which there are nine, are named specifically because they are internal to the acts of Parliament, therefore they are also known as internal aids. These aids are used to interpret the meaning and purpose of statutes in order to lay down the conditions to judge cases on so it is very important to interpret them properly. Amongst the list of aids is the Long Title, which is the proper name for a statute and can be up to a page long. Accompanying this is the Short Title, which is the common name for a statute and exists to make reference to the statute easier.
Other aids include Preamble and the Interpretation Section; an example of the latter comes in the Children's Act 1989. Here the Interpretation Section stated that 'this act shall be interpreted so that the best interests of the child are paramount', it serves as a guide as to how to understand the statute. There is also a 'Purpose' Statement as well as the use of Punctuation and Headings to be aids to the interpretation of the statutes. The final two intrinsic aids are Schedules and Marginal Notes and they are very similar.
Schedules exists at the end of an act and they refer to similar acts of the past, whereas, Marginal Notes appear throughout the act but they also relate to particular acts and rules which could be used to cross-reference with. The extrinsic, or external, aids are those that are outside of acts of Parliament, these are Dictionaries, Law Commission Reports, Earlier/Later Statutes, Law Reports, Hansard Reports and International Treaties, six in all. Dictionaries are used to find the technical meanings of words in the statute, and when using the Golden Rule, the alternative meanings of the words in the dictionary, are used.
The cases of Anderton v Ryan and R v Shivpuri illustrate thee importance of Law Commission Reports (LCR's). In the LCR of 1971, it was established that a defendant is still guilty of attempting to commit an offence even if the circumstances mean the offence cannot be committed. The verdict in the Anderton v Ryan did not conform to this and this was shown when the ruling was overturned by the House of Lords in R v Shivpuri, using an LCR. Shivpuri had attempted to smuggle millions of pounds worth of heroin only to find that it was not really heroin but an altogether different white powdery substance.
However, according to the LCR, he was still guilty for attempting to commit the crime even though what he had done was not a crime and this was the ultimate conclusion of the case. Using Earlier/Later Statutes links with the internal issue Schedules, which serves as a reference point for previous statutes that are in pari materia, or on the same subject. Law Reports are used for guidance as to how to interpret the statutes, as they show how cases of similar circumstances in the past have been ruled on.
Hansard is the daily record of Parliamentary events and speeches. Prior to Pepper v Hart judges were not allowed to refer to Hansard, this rule was affirmed in the case of Davis v Johnson. Here it was held that judges have no place in Parliamentary procedure and that Parliamentary speeches are primarily political in nature. Pepper v Hart was about whether the Inland Revenue could charge the difference on discount student fees given to the children of the teachers in the particular school and it was taken to the House of Lords.
Here it was established that Hansard can be referred to when the statutory section is 'obscure and ambiguous' and when a ministerial statement/answer 'directly addresses that point, and clarifies it'. The use of Parliamentary speeches in court was confirmed by the Three Rivers case. International Treaties make much of our law and a great deal of this law is from being part of the EU. They are not actual acts of Parliament, but we are obliged to comply with the rulings of the treaty.
The case of Fothergill v Monarch Airlines displays this as an International Treaty meant that an airline company was liable for compensation for a lost bag of luggage. Also, the Consumer Protection Act 1987 is an example of and act of Parliament, which was a direct result of an EU directive. Finally, the judge can also refer from the EU directive to the reports of the European Courts of Justice as well as being able to refer to the law reports of other member states of the EU.