Interpretation manual

Waterfront Place v Minister [2019] VSCA 156

This appeal from a case in Episode 42 is about the meaning of ‘no later than’ in VCAT notice-giving provisions.  Refusing the appeal, the court focussed on the interpretation provision about calculating time5, and whether a ‘contrary intention’ excluded its operation.  It was argued that the absence of uncertainty amounted to contrary intent. 

This was rejected both on the basis of past decisions6, and the ‘important consideration’ (at [36]) that all legislation is enacted in the setting of interpretation provisions generally and in the knowledge that they apply7.  This is stressed by Professor Pearce at the start of his new book8.  

This case is from Episode 51 of interpretation NOW!


5 s 44(3) of the Interpretation of Legislation Act 1984 (VIC).

6 Mitchell [2016] VSCA 342 (at [64]), ADCO [2014] HCA 18 (at [52]).

7 AIRC [2002] HCA 42 (at [7-8]) quoted.

8 Pearce Interpretation Acts in Australia (at [1.1]).