Express powers

FCT v Croft [2016] QSC 190

If an Act expressly confers a specific power constrained by certain conditions, it may implicitly exclude the use of more general powers that could otherwise have achieved the same result7.  However, like the ‘express references’ rule in Episode 16, this needs to be supported by context, and it shouldn’t be the only interpretive argument you rely on8

The two powers must also be intended to cover the same field – that is, they should relate to the same subject matter and have the same general consequences9.  In this case (at [38, 48]), Jackson J held that the powers in question were different and not inconsistent10, and could be exercised separately.

This case is from Episode 18 of interpretationNOW!


expressum facit cessare tacitum – Pearce & Geddes [4.36-4.39].

Balogv ICAC [1990] HCA 28 (at [15]).

Nystrom [2006] HCA 50 (at [59]), Glass [2016] VSC 507 (at [256]).

10  cf Bruton Holdings [2009] HCA 32 (at [16-17]).