Thursday, 7 July 2022

Ejusdem Generis

 Ejusdem Generis

Statutory can have many meanings and they can be interpreted in many forms. Courts take the responsibility for the interpretation, they follow various rules one of them is known as Ejusdem Generis.  

This maxim is used to remove the ambiguity of the words used in the statute .this doctrine provides that the general words which follow the specified words will be restricted to the same class of the specified words. This is a very important doctrine through which the purpose or the objectives of the statute can be achieved and proper justice can be given.

This doctrine is used by the courts to provide justice in the case, by interpreting according to the intention of the legislation to make the provision of legislation unclear and unambiguous and thus fulfilling the purpose of the legislation. To understand this doctrine it is important to understand its objectives of this doctrine. 

Ejusdem Generis is a Latin phrase meaning 'of the same kind'. The rule requires that wherein a statute there are general words following particular general words must be confined to things of the same kind as those specifically mentioned.

To give some more clarity, another definition states that, Ejudem Generis means ' of the same kind or species '. The Ejusdem Generis rule is that, where there are general words following particular words, the general words following particular words must be confined to things of the  same kind as those specified, unless there is a clear manifestation of a contrary purpose

black’s law dictionary defines it as “ the principle of Ejusdem Generis is where general words follow an enumeration of persons or things by particular and specific words . not only these general words are construed but also held as applying only to persons or things of the same general kind as those specifically enumerated .’


objectives :

  • To understand the meaning of the statutory interpretation 

  • To understand the meaning of “ Ejusdem Generis "

  • To study the applicability and non-applicability of the doctrine of Ejusdem Generis 

  • To study the cases where this doctrine was applied and where not

  • To examine whether the courts are properly using this doctrine or not 

Case;  Evans v. Cross, in this court applied the Ejusdem Generis rule.  The issue was related to the word ' other devices ' mentioned in section 48(9) Road Traffic Act 1930, in this, it was seen that it will include all signals, warning signposts, signs, or other devices as the traffic signs because devices are here indicating a thing, whereas painted line on a road is not. 

Another example can be criminal law, mischief uses the word any other, in this, it was seen that any other used in this section means all the ingredients which are similar to the ingredients of the mischief will be covered in any other. 

To conclude, this doctrine is very important as it clears the language of the provisions when there is the possibility of two meanings. It helps to provide justice. 

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