Intrinsic Aids to Statutory Interpretation

AuthorSusan Barker, Erica Anderson
chapter three
Intrinsic Aids to Statutory Interpretation
As noted in Chapter 1, researchers should be aware that indications
of legislative intent may be found in intrinsic aids. ese appear in the
text of the statute or regulation and might include titles, preambles,
marginal notes, headings, punctuation, and schedules.1 Judges wi
look at these intrinsic aids rst for indications of legislative intent
before they consider other extrinsic sources such as legislative hist-
ory or legislative evolution, according to the hierarchy for statutory
interpretation established by Driedger’s modern principle.
In order to ascertain which part of a statute can be considered as
evidence of meaning and which parts are tangential to that meaning,
it is oen a good idea to look at the interpretation Act or equivalent
for the jurisdiction of the statute that you are researching.
In Ontario, for example, section 68 of the Legislation Act2 species
68 (1) A preamble to a new Act is part of that Act and may be used to
help explain its purpose.
1 Pierre-André Côté, e Interpretation of Legislation in Canada, 4th ed (Toronto:
Carswe: 2011).
2 Legislation Act, SO 2006, c 21, Schedule F, s 68.

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