Statutory Interpretation

Definition - What does Statutory Interpretation mean?

Statutory interpretation is the act of determining what the legislature intended by the way the legislature wrote a series of rules called statutes. However, the impreciseness of language allows for multiple interpretations of the same words.

When a lawyer seeks to understand exactly what a statue says and to apply that statute to real-world situations, they are engaging in statutory interpretation.

Justipedia explains Statutory Interpretation

A substantial amount of the law is codified as a series of rules called statutes. At first glance, it is easy to conclude that understanding what the law is means reading these rules. Words, however, can have a multiplicity of meanings, forcing lawyers to engage in statutory interpretation.

Sometimes, the legislature drafts specific rules telling lawyers that certain words or statutes must be interpreted in a certain way. In other situations, appellate courts or the Supreme Court will rule that one statutory interpretation is more proper than another.

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