Legislative instruments

Bupa HI v Andrew Chang Services [2018] FCA 2033

The same principles as apply in the interpretation of statutes apply to legislative instruments – in this case, the Medicare Benefits Schedule.  Because the MBS ‘prescribes technical matters’, it is to be construed ‘in light of practical considerations to achieve the most reasonably practicable result’2

The court also referred to the perception that delegated legislation often has a range of minor wrinkles, the inference being that some latitude is to be granted at the point of interpretation3.  Not all courts see it this way, however4iTip – start with the ordinary principles and deal with any drafting glitches in instruments if and when they arise.

This case is from Episode 45 of interpretationNOW!


2 Gill [1963] 1 WLR 929 (at 934-935), Sevdalis [2017] FCAFC 9 (at [26]) cited.

3 Heatscape [2016] NSWLEC 45 (at [151]), Condon [2014] NSWCA 149 (at [44]).

4 4nature [2017] NSWCA 191 (at [45]), Episodes 13 & 28.