International treaties

Addy v FCT [2021] HCA 34

A UK national on a working holiday visa was taxed at a higher rate than an Australian national would be.  She said this was unlawful under a treaty because it subjected her to ‘other or more burdensome’ taxation than Australians ‘in the same circumstances …in particular with respect to residence’10

The court rejected the idea that, because she was on a working holiday visa, her circumstances could never be the same as an Australian.  The treaty text should also bear the same meaning in domestic law as in the treaty11, and (at [23]) international instruments should be interpreted in a ‘more liberal manner’ than domestic legislation12 – see Episode 53.

This principle is from Episode 79 of interpretation NOW!


10 Art 25(1) of United Kingdom Convention [2003] ATS 22.

11 Applicant A (1997) 190 CLR 225 (at 230-231), Episode 19.

12 Applicant A (at 255), Lamesa (1997) 77 FCR 597 (at 604-605) cited.