Current Issues in Legal Interpretation

Date & Time: Monday 1st June 2015 @ 13:00 – 17:00

Venue: Raeburn Room (Old College, South Bridge, Edinburgh EH8 9YL)

This Workshop will examine a number of current issues in legal interpretation through the lens of judicial practice. By bringing together the insights of legal theorists and doctrinal lawyers, we aim to make progress on the key questions of which interpretative methodologies the courts do, and which they should, adopt in order to resolve legal disputes. The Workshop is jointly hosted by the Legal Theory Research Group and the Edinburgh Centre for Private Law.

The Workshop will consist of nine 20-minute slots followed by a Panel discussion. In each slot, the speaker will briefly present a case from his/her field which raises an interesting question of interpretative methodology – followed by an open discussion on that case. The idea is to ventilate a number of different interpretative issues, from a range of legal fields, arising from a variety of different legal texts (legislation, contracts, wills etc.).  The Workshop will then close with a 40-minute Panel discussion in which we’ll seek to draw together some key themes emerging from the cases and to bring out commonalities and differences of approach.

The Workshop is free of charge and is open to all – but registration is required:
Eventbrite - Edinburgh Legal Theory Spring Workshops


12:30-1:00pm Registration and tea/coffee

1:00-1:05pm Welcome and Introduction

1:05-3:00pm Case Law Session 1  Chair: Mr. Martin Kelly (University of Edinburgh)

1:05-1:20pm Prof. Burkhard Schafer (University of Edinburgh): “Stolen whisky, a bilingual Convention and expansive construction – James Buchanan & Co. Ltd v. Babco Forwarding & Shipping (UK) Ltd.

1:20-1:40pm Ms. Jane Cornwell (University of Edinburgh): “Ever-decreasing circles: justification and legislative intent in the interpretation of EU design law – Grupo Promer Mon Graphic SA v Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market (OHIM); PepsiCo Inc (Intervener)

1:40-2:00pm Mr. Kenneth Campbell QC (Arnot Manderson Advocates): “Class war and legislative competence – Salvesen v. Riddell, Lord Advocate intervening

2:00-2:20pm  Prof. Laura Macgregor (University of Edinburgh): “Interpretation as a limit to contractual autonomy – Grove Investments Ltd v. Cape Building Products Ltd.

2:20-2:40pm Dr. Andrew Cornford (University of Edinburgh): “We are all criminals now? Narrow construction and the Terrorism Act 2000 – R. v. G

2:40-3:00pm Dr. Jill Robbie (Brodies LLP / University of Glasgow): “When prohibition implies permission?  R (oao Newhaven Port and Properties Ltd.) v. East Sussex County Council

3:00-3:20pm Tea/coffee

3:20-4:20pm Case Law Session 2 – Chair: Mr. Stephen Bogle (University of Glasgow)

3:20-3:40pm Mr. Scott Wortley (University of Edinburgh): “Meaning and context in mortgage enforcement: does “shall” always mean ‘must’? – Royal Bank of Scotland plc v. Wilson

3:40-4:00pm Ms. Clare Connelly (Compass Chambers): “A history of “violence” – domestic abuse and ‘updating construction’ – Yemshaw  v. London Borough of Hounslow

4:00-4:20pm Mr. Martin Kelly (University of Edinburgh): “Switched wills and the limits of interpretation – Marley v. Rawlings

4.20-5.00pm Panel Discussion – Chair: Ms. Clare Connelly (Compass Chambers) 

Panel members:

Dr. Luis Duarte d’Almeida (University of Edinburgh)

Mr. Kenneth Campbell QC (Arnot Manderson Advocates)

Dr. Euan MacDonald (University of Edinburgh)

Prof. Laura Macgregor (University of Edinburgh)

Workshop organiser:

Mr. Martin Kelly (University of Edinburgh)