Contemporaneous-Construction Doctrine Law and Legal Definition

Contemporaneous-Construction Doctrine is a principle used in interpretation of statutes. It says that an ambiguous statute made by an administrative agency or lower court is entitled to great deference if the interpretation has been used over a long period.

Under the contemporaneous construction doctrine, a court or agency decision or practice interpreting an ambiguous statute may be considered a contemporaneous construction even though the interpreting act occurs months or even one year or more after the statute was enacted. [Small Bus. in Telecomms. v. FCC, 251 F.3d 1015, 1022 (D.C. Cir. 2001)]