Di Paolo v Salta Constructions [2015] VSCA 230

There is a growing jurisprudence about when and how practical consequences properly influence interpretation10 – this is a controversial area!  In 1981, it was said that results which are absurd, extraordinary, capricious, irrational or obscure might drive an alternative construction11Section 15AB was legislated for soon after. 

The High Court has said12 that inconvenience of result may assist an alternative conclusion that is ‘reasonably open’.  Di Paolo (at [48]) cautions that the consequences must be ‘very serious’ before a court will reject an otherwise correct construction13iTip – failure to observe this runs the risk of crossing a line into the no-go domain of parliament14.

This case is from Episode 7 of interpretationNOW!


10 Pearce & Geddes (at [2.38-2.40]).

11  Cooper Brookes (1981) 147 CLR 297 (at 321).

12  CIC Insurance (1997) 187 CLR 384 (at 408).

13  ConnectEast v FCT [2009] FCAFC 22 (at [41]).

14 EHL Burgess [2015] VSCA 269 (at [72]).