Episode 67

Gordon Brysland

Two points made in Episode 66 – Circle of Meaning– were that the law ‘needs to work’, and that we are to finish with the text (at least to ensure that the meaning chosen is ‘open on the words’).  A superannuation case just decided illustrates both points1.  One problem was that a particular ‘income stream’ was to be ‘specified in the regulations’ but none had been directly2.  The statutory purpose being clear, the court said there was a duty to ensure the legislative target is hit and not missed3.  Reading the regulations in their wider statutory context against their clear purpose meant the income stream had been ‘specified’ and the law did work.  To QA this, the court revisited the text to make sure that outcome remained ‘open on the words’, as Episode 66 describes it.  This final act of reconnection with the text of the legislation, as this case shows, is an important reality check.

Gordon Brysland – Tax Counsel Network

See here for the official PDF of Episode 67 of interpretation NOW!

In this episode:

Credits – Gordon Brysland, Oliver Hood, Philip Borrell & Sarah Locker.


1 FCT v Douglas [2020] FCAFC 220 (at [90-91, 97-98] respectively).

2 s 307-70(1) of ITAA97 read with reg 995-1.01 of ITAR97.

3 Taylor [2014] HCA 9 (at [60]), Kingston (1987) 11 NSWLR 404 (at 421).