Dickenson v Fletcher: 1873

A penal statute should receive a strict or restrictive interpretation. Brett J said: ‘Those who contend that a penalty may be inflicted must show that the words of the Act distinctly enact that it shall be incurred under the present circumstances. They must fail if the words are merely equally capable of a construction that would, and one that would not, inflict the penalty.’


Brett J


(1873) LR 9 CP 1


England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedHampstead Heath Winter Swimming Club and Another v Corporation of London and Another Admn 26-Apr-2005
Swimmers sought to be able to swim unsupervised in an open pond. The authority which owned the pond on Hampstead Heath wished to refuse permission fearing liability for any injury.
Held: It has always been a principle of the interpretation of . .
CitedAitken v Director of Public Prosecutions Admn 23-Apr-2015
The newspaper was accused of publishing an article in breach of reporting restrictions imposed under section 33. The court now asked whether the appellant, the newspaper editor, was for these purposes, the publisher and at risk of criminal . .
CitedBritish Pregnancy Advisory Service, Regina (on The Application of) v Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Admn 5-Jun-2019
Abortion Time Limit statement was correct.
The Court considered ‘ the correct interpretation of the words, ‘the pregnancy has not exceeded its twenty-fourth week’ in s.1(1)(a) of the Abortion Act 1967 ‘ The guidance was challenged as the calculations. The date of the beginning of the . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Updated: 07 May 2022; Ref: scu.231180