Calculation of time

AFP v Cranston (No 15) [2021] NSWSC 1332

Calculation of time often creates angst14.  The issue was when an application to extend the date of forfeiture had to be made by.  The statute said the ‘period at the end of which the property is forfeited is … the 6 month period starting on the conviction day’15 (1 April 2021).  The calculation here was ‘not without doubt’, with 3 possibilities – end of 30 September, beginning of 1 October, or on 2 October.

Item 2 in s 36(1) of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901 says a period of time expressed on a specified day ‘includes that day’.  But, if item 2 applied, forfeiture would take place within 6 months.  It ‘would seem preferable’ then that forfeiture occur on 2 October.

This principle is from Episode 81 of interpretation NOW!


14 Pearce Interpretation Acts (at [4.23-4.41]), Episodes 42 & 72.

15 s 92(3) of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (Cth).