Comparative Interpretation Law and Legal Definition

Comparative Interpretation is a method of statutory interpretation. Under comparative interpretation, parts of the statute are compared to each other. Then, the statute as a whole is compared to other documents from the same source on a similar subject. Comparative interpretation helps to better understand provisions of a statute.

The following is an example of a case law referring to the term:

< p> In expounding statutes, we should have regard to what may properly be termed the comparative interpretation of laws; that is, we should not only collate and compare the several parts of the statute in question, but we should compare the whole statute with other statutes enacted by the same legislative body in reference to the same subject, and thus determine the real purpose and intent of the legislator, both by what is expressed and by what is omitted in the statute under consideration. [Glenn v. County Comm'rs of York, 6 S.C. 412 (S.C. 1874)].