n Law, Democracy & Development - Legitimacy and interpretation in Ghanaian law : the literal interpretation theory versus the value-based interpretation theory

Volume 8, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1028-1053
  • E-ISSN: 2077-4907



What should the courts do when they are called upon to interpret important documents, such as statutes and constitutions? Should they interpret them literally - using the words of the document alone, even when a literal interpretation leads to unjust results or arbitrary consequences? Or should interpretation necessarily involve protecting and promoting certain background political and moral values - values that are cherished in Ghanaian or African society? We shall call the problem raised here the problem of Interpretation.

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