Influence of purpose

Azizi v DPP [2022] VSCA 71

A and O jointly owned a house for which O provided the whole purchase price.  O was charged with drug offences and a restraining order placed on the house.  O was convicted.  A argued her interest should be excluded from confiscation as she acquired it from O ‘for sufficient consideration’5.  This was rejected.

The court said (at [63]) that the provision was to be read having regard ‘to the purposes of the Act as a whole’6, one of which was ‘to provide for the automatic forfeiture of restrained property of persons convicted of certain offences’.  The purpose of the Act was indeed ‘to achieve a harsh outcome’7 and there was no ambiguity about the provision in question8.

This principle is from Episode 85 of interpretation NOW!


5 (at [59-60]), s 22A(1)(c) of the Confiscation Act 1997 (VIC).

6 Lordianto [2019] HCA 39 (at [61-62]), cf Song [2020] VSC 465 (at [26]).

7 (at [65-66]), as confirmed by extrinsic materials.

8 (at [70-71]), Coleman [2018] VSCA 264 (at [178]) quoted.