Episode 39

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 alles3.  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

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Writers – Gordon, Joseph, Suna & Emma.  Producer – Joseph.

L [2017] SASCFC 133, Grantham & Jensen (2016) 42 Monash ULR 360.

2 Barker [2012] JCA Coll (at [16]), cf Duffy & O’Brien (2017) 40 UNSWLJ 952.

3 Frickey [2007] JC Mono 159 (at 169), cf Frickey (2006) 80 ALJ 849 (at 856).

4 SZTAL [2017] HCA 34 (at [39]), Possum Case [2018] FCA 178 (at [46]).