Episode 51

The first thing about statutory interpretation is to understand the basic principles.  Courts last month reminded us these are ‘well known’ and ‘not overly complex’1.  Middleton J tells us to be guided by common sense, not blinded by ‘over-analysis’2.  This reflects the general anti-linguistic approach required by the High Court.  Context and purpose point the way, not trawling through old canons for something convenient.  The common-sense we bring to the exercise, however, is not of the ‘local table of knowledge’ kind.  Rather, it is the careful application of known principles to the statutory text in detection of what parliament meant by the words it used.  iTip – just because common-sense is involved, does not mean it is easy or that we can cut corners.  

Sarah Locker – Tax Counsel Network

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In this episode:


Writers – Sarah & Gordon.  Producer – Joseph.

1 Harvey [2019] WASC 261 (at [10]), Michos [2019] VSCA 140 (at [36]).

2 Middleton (2016) 40 MULR 626 (at 632), Episodes 22 & 35.