Exclusive codes

Commonwealth v Sanofi [2015] FCAFC 172

Determining if provisions involve an exhaustive code which excludes common law remedies is often hard.  In this case, the court (at [101-102]) held that there was ‘no inconsistency or incompatibility’ in allowing therapeutic goods provisions to coexist with a damages remedy12, adding that the contrary would be ‘inconvenient and unjust’ (at [96]). 

Code arguments frequently arise in tax-related situations13, often in overpayment contexts14iTip – a careful purposive approach needs to be taken to these questions, with an eye to whether parliament intended general law rights to be ousted by the statute or to coexist with it.

This case is from Episode 8 of interpretationNOW!


12  cf Monro v HMRC [2008] EWCA Civ 306 (at [22-23]).

13  ACN 005 057 349 Pty Ltd [2015] VSC 76 (at [95-106]), for example.

14  Lamesa Holdings [1999] FCA 612, illustrates.