ISBN 9781485139485
Author Botha
Edition 6th


Interpretation of statutes is about understanding enacted law-texts, in other words, making sense of the total relevant legislative scheme applicable to the situation at hand. Apart from poor reading and writing skills, one of the more striking current interpretation problems is the inability of law students (as well as the latest generation of legal practitioners) to interpret and apply legislation within the total legal environment.


  • In Part 1 (‘Statute law’) students are introduced to the different types and categories of legislation, the structural components of legislation, the sometimes confusing ‘codes’ used in legislative texts, as well as the challenges of applying old order legislation together with new legislation (since 1994).
  • Part 2 (‘How legislation is interpreted’) comprises a chapter on the theoretical foundations of interpretation, and an overview of the basic approaches to statutory interpretation in South Africa; and a chapter dealing with the practical application of the rules of interpretation according to an arrangement based on Lourens du Plessis’s five interrelated dimensions of statutory interpretation.
  • Part 3 (‘Judicial law-making during interpretation, and peremptory and directory provisions’) deals with a number of day-to-day applications, and’,
  • Part 4 is a basic introduction to constitutional interpretation. In the process students are introduced to less well-known aspects such as deeming clauses, the suspension of legislation, sunset clauses, legalese and the counter-majoritarian difficulty.