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Law Courses Catalog

Legislation: Interpretation and Application of Statutes

This course is an introduction to the law pertaining to the creation and interpretation of statutes. We will begin by focusing on how legislatures are organized and how they enact statutes into law. Included will be a discussion of the process by which the people themselves may enact statutes by initiative or referendum. We will also consider the extent to which the courts may review the processes by which legislatures and the people enact legislation. We will then turn our attention to the interpretation of statutes by the courts, covering competing normative and descriptive theories of statutory construction, canons of statutory construction, the use and misuse of legislative history, and the role of administrative agencies in the construction of statutes.