Constructional choices

Garrett v FCT [2015] FCA 665

The great tax judge, Hill J, often stressed the ‘considerable room for creative interpretation’3, under which more options naturally open up to the diligent reader.  It is not some mono-lineal exercise – see above.  The description used by the High Court nowadays is ‘constructional choices’4

Kenny J in this case (at [12]) said that language is ‘characteristically malleable and nuanced; and there are almost always constructional choices to make by reference to text, context and purpose’5.  Our job is to identify and evaluate those choices in conformity with Chris Jordan’s role as an administrator.  iTip – don’t be fooled into thinking your first grab on the text is necessarily the only viable option or choice available – dig deeper!

This case is from Episode 2 of interpretationNOW!


Hill J (1999) 2 Journal of Australian Taxation 66 (at 71), for example.

Momcilovic v R [2011] HCA 34 (at [50]), iTip – read this passage!

May v Military Rehabilitation [2015] FCAFC 93 (at [184-186]).