Episode 9

The late Justice Antonin Scalia of the US Supreme Court had a massive influence on interpretation1.  At a 2011 conference, Pagone J said it was a ‘daunting privilege’ to introduce the American judge2.  His ‘originalist’ ideas on how the US constitution should be read3 – what framers meant at the time – now dominates debate.  Our High Court, however, generally rejects ‘trapped-in-time’ approaches to the Australian constitution.  Scalia J was also highly influential on statutory interpretation, to which he applied his strict ‘textualism’4.  We have not embraced this in Australia either, where a purposive approach has long been required.  iTip – as a Scalia J sampler, try his ground-shaking majority opinion in the 2008 gun rights case, District of Columbia v Heller5.

Jeremy Geale – Tax Counsel Network

See here for the official PDF of interpretationNOW! Episode 9

In this episode:


Writer – Gordon Brysland, Producer – Michelle Janczarski.

1  Biskupic, American Original (2009) – biography.

2  Pagone J, Introducing Justice Scalia (2011).

3  Scalia, A Matter of Interpretation (1997).

4  Scalia & Garner, Reading Law (2012).

5  District of Columbia v Heller 554 US 570 (2008).