Play video

Canons of Statutory Interpretation III

Learn about interpretive canons related to the structure or context of statutes.


I. Introduction

The next category of interpretive canons relates to the structure or context of statutes. But like the other canons we’ve considered, they can apply to other types of texts, including constitutions, promulgated rules, and legal documents such as contracts and wills.

II. The Whole Act Canon

The whole-act canon requires consideration of a statute’s entire text, structure, and the relationship between its parts. This is one of the oldest and strongest canons. Coke explained it early...