UNSW Global v CCSR [2016] NSWSC 1852

Sometimes the ordinary, literal meaning of a provision will not remedy the mischief it was meant to address, and you’ll need to look for an alternative reading of the text3.  However, White J (at [47-50]) reminds us to be careful not to adopt a position that addresses the mischief parliament had in mind only to create some ‘disproportionate counter-mischief’4

This is another instance of considering the consequences of competing interpretations5.  In this payroll tax case, a literal reading of the provisions addressed the basic mischief but produced ‘far-reaching and unintended consequences’.  iTip – be careful in reasoning from consequences generally.

This case is from Episode 22 of interpretationNOW!


Alcan [2009] HCA 41 (at [47]), Episode 2 – Constructional choices.

Bennion (5ed at 901-904).

Episode 7 – Inconvenience.