court interpretation of statutes

Outlining a statute facilitates your understanding of the specific conduct that is regulated by the statute. It also provides details on how a court case resolves ambiguities and applies statutes to particular legal issues.

The first step in outlining a statute involves determining the elements, results, and exceptions of the statute in question. If the elements are linked with the word and, they must all be met to trigger the results. If elements are linked with the word or, only one of the elements must be established. If all of the elements are relevant but only some are needed, then the statute contains a factors test. A commonly known factors test is when child custody is determined by what is in the best interest of the child. The court considers factors such as the fitness of the parent, the relationship between child and parent, living accommodations, placement of siblings, educational opportunities, religious education, etc. The result is what will happen when the elements of the statute are met. Exceptions occur when an additional element is established and the usual result does not follow.

Once you have outlined a relevant statute, you can use the LexisNexis Academic database to consult the Interpretive Notes and Decisions that follow federal statutes and the Notes section that follows state statutes. They will direct you to cases that interpret specific elements of the relevant statute.

For this this Assignment: (2–3 pages)

  • Outline a human trafficking international treaty. List the elements, results, and exceptions of the treaty.
  • Provide a brief explanation of the treaty.
  • Analyze and explain at least one statutory interpretation of the international treaty that aids in the enforcement of the treaty in a Policy Memorandum to your supervisor who is the Chief Policy Analyst for your division. In the Memorandum, use statutory law to argue either for or against the enforcement of the treaty.
  • Remember to use Bluebook citation in the Memorandum.

Remember to use Bluebook citation in the Memorandum and create a 2- to 3-page paper outlining the information listed in your choice option. Submit by Day 7.


Bressman, L. S., & Gluck, A. R. (2014, April). Statutory interpretation from the inside—An empirical study of congressional drafting, delegation, and the canons. Stanford Law Review, 66(4), 725. (2003). The rule of law–In depth. Retrieved from… (2003). Analysis–In depth. Retrieved from…

Tolley, M. (2003). Judicial review of agency interpretation of statutes: Deference doctrines in comparative perspective. Policy Studies Journal, 31(3), 421–440.

Siegel, J. (2005). The polymorphic principle and the judicial role in statutory interpretation. Texas Law Review, 84(2), 339–394.

State Bar of Michigan. (n.d.). Law school for legislators: Rules of statutory interpretation. Retrieved from…

Optional Resources


Eskridge, W., Jr. (2013). Expanding Chevron’s domain: A comparative institutional analysis of the relative competence of courts and agencies to interpret statutes (Paper 4797). Faculty Scholarship Series. Retrieved from

Walker, C. J. (2015, May). Inside agency statutory interpretation. Stanford Law Review, 67(5), 1038+. Retrieved from…

Ross, M. (2014). A diamond in the rough: The transnational duty to prevent human trafficking in the protocol. Duke Journal of Gender Law & Policy, 21(2), 325+. Retrieved from…

Maranville, D. (2003). Helpful hints for confused law students: How to read a statute: MAP it! Retrieved from…

van Zyl Smit, J. (2007). The new purposive interpretation of statutes: HRA section 3 after Ghaidan v Godin-Mendoza. Modern Law Review, 70(2), 294–306. Use the Academic Search Premier database, and search using the article’s title.

Policy Memorandum Samples…


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