Constructional choice

FCT v Sharpcan Pty Ltd [2018] FCAFC 163

Constructional choice is a hot topic, and one that is truly at the epicentre of interpretation these days12.  Choice between possible meanings of a provision is driven by the ‘unqualified statutory instruction’ in s 15AA of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901. 

Articulation of the principles was undertaken initially by French CJ13.  More recently, Gageler J has been the chief developer and explainer in cases like SZTAL14 and Esso Australia15.  It is the majority in Sharpcan (at [207-216]), however, which best draws together in one place all the threads of constructional choice.  iTip – there is no substitute for reading these 10 paragraphs and no reason not to >>> CLICK HERE!         

This case is from Episode 41 of interpretationNOW!


12 Episodes 2, 8, 34, 37, 38; also (2018) 92 ALJ 81.

13 Momcilovic [2011] HCA 34 (at [50]).

14 SZTAL [2017] HCA 34 (at [38]).

15 Esso Australia [2017] HCA 54 (at [71]).