Ke v R [2021] NSWCCA 177

It has long been true that, where one interpretation will do manifest injustice and another will avoid it, the latter should be adopted13.  This is an instance of consequences being taken into account.  Ke pleaded guilty to recklessly dealing with proceeds of crime (funds derived from stolen baby formula)14.  It was argued she was entitled to a discount on sentence by reason of an earlier rejected offer to plead guilty. 

This was accepted (at [53-54]) on the basis that, if the provision was read otherwise, injustice would result.  This is merely an aspect of our purposive system.  It is argued mainly in criminal and migration contexts, often in tandem with ‘principle of legality’ points15.

This principle is from Episode 76 of interpretation NOW!


13 Murray-More (1975) 132 CLR 336 (at 350), Pearce 9th Edition (at [2.59]).

14 s 193B(2) of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW).

15 Stewart [2020] FCAFC 196 (at [38]), EFX17 [2021] HCA 9 (at [41]).