2012 Hawaii Revised Statutes
701. Preliminary Provisions
701-104 Principles of construction.

HI Rev Stat § 701-104 (2012) What's This?

§701-104 Principles of construction. The provisions of this Code cannot be extended by analogy so as to create crimes not provided for herein; however, in order to promote justice and effect the objects of the law, all of its provisions shall be given a genuine construction, according to the fair import of the words, taken in their usual sense, in connection with the context, and with reference to the purpose of the provision. [L 1972, c 9, pt of §1]


This section, read in conjunction with §701-103, is intended to assure that this Code will be construed by the courts in such a way as to effectuate the declared purposes of the law.


Section 104 of the Proposed Draft of the Code read: "The rule that a penal statute is to be strictly construed does not apply to this Code, but the provisions herein must be construed according to the fair import of their terms." The Legislature found that such broad wording would subject the Code to unwarranted argument and attempted to avoid this possibility by revising the entire section. Through the section, as enacted, the Legislature sought to limit the scope of the fair import principle. See Conference Committee Report No. 2 (1972). The committee report also states: "It is the intent of the Committee that definitions of crimes are to be strictly construed."

Case Notes

In Coray v. Ariyoshi, 54 H. 254, 506 P.2d 13 (1973), and State v. Rackle, 55 H. 531, 523 P.2d 299 (1974), the court reiterated without discussion the doctrine of strict construction. The offenses in each case occurred prior to enactment of the Code.

Where words of general description follow enumeration of specific things, the words are restricted to like objects. 56 H. 481, 541 P.2d 1020.

Proscription of distribution of lysergic acid "diethylamine" under §329-14 (1974) cannot be extended by analogy to distribution of lysergic acid diethylamide. 61 H. 74, 595 P.2d 288.

Rule of strict construction does not override other fundamental rules of construction. 59 H. 456, 583 P.2d 337.

Cited in construing "accident." 1 H. App. 625, 623 P.2d 1271.

Cited in construing "possession." 8 H. App. 610, 822 P.2d 23.

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