THE USE OF LEGISLATIVE HISTORY IN THE INTERPRETATION OF STATUTES
AbstractThere is an ongoing debate over the usefulness of legislative history to the interpretation of statutes. To determine whether it is common sense to appeal to the history of a statute’s creation, the author examines various sources of legislative history, focusing on debates in the House of Commons. He examines the legislative process, in order to argue that Hansard offers no convincing proof of what the government intended. The process in the United States, where legislative history is used for interpretative purposes, is compared to the Canadian position to illustrate why Canada should avoid following that approach.
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