Literal Approach 1 Purposive Approach 0

Saturday 2 December 2006 at 10:24 am | In News | Post Comment

Bolton School v Evans [2006] CA (Civil Division)
[Statutory Interpretation – purposive approach]
D employed Mr Evans as a technology teacher. He was dismissed from his job after he hacked into the school’s computer system to demonstrate that security was inadequate. Before doing so he informed the head of the department. He was given a formal warning for hacking into the system. He resigned and claimed constructive unfair dismissal. He claimed he had made a protected disclosure under the Employment Rights Act. Mr Evans argued that his the course of conduct as a whole should be regarded as an act of disclosure and accordingly the hacking into the computer system had been part of the protected disclosure.

Held: Disclosure was a common word and Parliament did not intend to add some special meaning to the word. The tribunal’s approach was wrongly based on a purposive interpretation of the legislation and not based on the wording of the statute.

D won

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