Legislative scheme

R v Host [2015] WASCA 23

When different statutes of the same legislature form a ‘legislative scheme’, courts will try to construe them ‘to produce a sensible, efficient and just operation’6.  Driven by the need for a ‘rational integration of the legislation’, this is exactly what the court did in this sentencing case (at [111]). 

As Pearce & Geddes point out (at [3.39]), the principle applies with ‘special significance’ where the pieces of legislation are introduced the same day, but also to the reciprocal legislation of different states.  iTip – be careful first to characterise and understand the ‘scheme’ before applying the principle.  How to read intersecting provisions from different Acts in various situations is always tricky7.

This case is from Episode 9 of interpretationNOW!


Permanent Trustee (1987) 9 NSWLR 719 (at 722).

7  Commissioner v Eaton [2013] HCA 2 (at [43-48]), illustrates.