Appellate deference

Pritchard v M 6:8 Legal [2024] WASCA 4

The appeal court in this case makes an important point about the manner in which views of the court below on interpretation are to be approached.  It was said (at [35]) – ‘This court applies the correctness standard in reaching its own view as to the proper construction of the provisions, without according any deference to the views adopted by the primary judge’.

Three things – first, the ‘correctness standard’ requires proper application of the principles.  Second, while comity may prefer coherence with decisions of courts of equal standing, appeal courts must be neutral and independent.  Third, administrators must apply the law as stated authoritatively at any level.

This principle is from Episode 105 of interpretation NOW!