oa Advocate - Reference to Hansard in the Interpretation of statutes: Are there prospects for a new approach?

Volume 7, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1012-8743



Although the Roman-Dutch writer CH Eckhard thought that debates preceding the enactment of a law were an important aid in the construction of that law (Hermeneutica Juris 2.2.60) , except to justify a deviation from the clear meaning of the law (op. ci t. 2.2.82), South African courts have followed the approach which was developed in English law beginning with the judgment of Willes J in Millar v Taylor (1769) 98 ER 201, 217: ""The sense and meaning of an Act of Parliament must be collected from what it says when passed into law; and not from the history of the changes it underwent in the house where it took its rise.""

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