Provisions delegating legislative power to administrators are often called ‘Henry VIII clauses’, due to their autocratic vibe10. Their constitutionality is seldom in doubt11, but they attract greater scrutiny and are read strictly to their statutory purpose12. A recent example allows the Tax Commissioner, by legislative instrument, to modify the operation of new purchaser withholding provisions13.
Courts now have less angst about Henry VIII clauses. In ADCO (at ), Gageler J said that parliamentary oversight and later judicial review diminish their ‘pejorative labelling’, and show a ‘legislative balance between flexibility and accountability’.
This case is from Episode 35 of interpretationNOW!
10 PSA  HCA 58 (at ), Lees  AC 930.
12 Cvetanovski  VSCA 65 (at ), Spath Holme  2 AC 349 (at 382).
13 s 14-250(3) of Schedule 1 to TAA53.