Sometimes even the most basic things can be overlooked … things like whether purposive interpretation is mandatory. As we know, a daunting range of common law rules and canons may impact statutes. Into this mix, parliament legislated s 15AA of the Acts Interpretation Act, first in 1981 to say that a ‘construction that would promote the purpose or object … shall be preferred’, then in 2011 to say that the ‘interpretation that would best achieve the purpose or object … is to be preferred’. Statutes ordinarily shut down inconsistent common law1, but some saw s 15AA more as useful help than something you must apply2. An American academic, however, wrote that s 15AA ‘arguably mandates purposivism uber alles’3. Leaving aside the language, this pretty much sums it up. Section 15AA involves an ‘unqualified statutory instruction’4.
Gordon Brysland – Tax Counsel Network
See here for the official PDF of interpretationNOW! Episode 39
In this episode:
Writers – Gordon, Joseph, Suna & Emma. Producer – Joseph.
3 Frickey  JC Mono 159 (at 169), cf Frickey (2006) 80 ALJ 849 (at 856).