How Is Legislation Understood and Applied?

AuthorJohn Mark Keyes/Wendy Gordon
 
How Is Legislation Understood
Since courts resolve disputes about the meaning and application
of legislation, the methodology they have developed for doing so
should be applied by everyone. is methodology not only ref‌lects
the functions of legislation discussed above (particularly to achieve
the policy goals of the bodies that make it and communicate its
terms to those it aects), it is also connected to the role of language
and the way legislation has been drafted.
e functions of legislation are best advanced by enacting it in lan-
guages that are widely understood by both those who make the legis-
lation and those who are subject to it. In Canada, these languages
are English and French. In Nunavut, legislation is also enacted in
the Inuit language. Indigenous languages are also used in the laws of
self-governing Indigenous peoples. ese are known as natural lan-
guages and are recognized as fundamental for the social interaction
that def‌ines the linguistic communities that use them. In Re Manitoba
Language Rights, the Supreme Court of Canada noted:

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