Episode 13

iNOW! has noted the ‘constructional choices’ that may emerge in zones of contested interpretation.  Two things are usually necessary to bring forward those choices.  First, a working knowledge of the principles for determining what parliament meant by the words it used.  Second, a mindset to apply those principles flexibly and with understanding.  Courts tell us to be ‘wary of propounding rigid rules’ when reading statutes – Daley v SAS Trustee, for example1.  This means keeping in mind the dangers of a blinkered approach2.  Rejection of rigid rules also naturally gives weight to the role that lateral thinking may play with difficult provisions.  Later selection between ‘constructional choices’, however, is to be made by reference to purpose and context.

Gordon Brysland – Tax Counsel Network

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In this episode:


Writer – Gordon Brysland, Producer – Michelle Janczarski. Thanks to Alex Reid, Tim Sporne & Dennis Pearce.

Daley [2016] NSWCA 111 (at [110]), Taylor [2014] HCA 9 (at [37]).

Agfa-Gevaert (1996) 186 CLR 389 (at 401).