Commentary

I2.105 Purpose of legislation

IHT, trusts and estates

I2.105 Purpose of legislation

I2.105 Purpose of legislation

It is beyond doubt that the court may look at the purpose and history of the relevant legislation and to this end reference may be made to the state of the law, and to the material facts and events with which it is apparent that Parliament was dealing1. Reports of commissioners, including law commissioners, and white papers can be looked at for the purpose of ascertaining the mischief which the statute is intended to cure2. Parliamentary debates are also admissible to ascertain the intention behind a statute3.

Further, it was held by the House of Lords in Pepper v Hart4, reversing previous decisions on the point, that the court can look at parliamentary materials as an aid to interpreting legislation where the legislation is ambiguous, or leads to an

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