Ejusdem generis

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The JC’s guide to pithy Latin adages

Latin

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The ejusdem generis rule of statutory interpretation — which we contract hacks like when it suits us to extend by analogy into contractual interpretation — says wherever general words follow specific words, the general words should be read to include only objects similar in nature to those specific words.

So, “any uprising, riot, looting, organised disobedience or other civil commotion” would not include “ironic flash-mob performances of songs from The Sound of Music, however tiresome or poorly organised”, as long as not specifically violent in aspect (of course, there is every chance that passers-by would become spontaneously violent upon being confronted by an ironic flash mob).

See also