Mere inconvenience

Oreb v ASIC (No 2) [2017] FCAFC 49

Mere inconvenience of result is not enough to force interpretation6 – this is basic.  ASIC can disqualify officers within 12 months of ceasing their duties, if the company ‘was wound up’7.  Does winding up need to be complete?  If ‘yes’, it would prejudice ASIC powers and go beyond mere inconvenience. 

The court said (at [32-55]) that ‘was wound up’ in this context meant only that a winding up process ‘had commenced’.  This approach was reasonably open on the text, it aligned more closely with legislative intent, and it read consistently with other provisions.  ‘Once there is [a] choice, the answer to that choice is not grammar’, the court said.   

This case is from Episode 28 of interpretationNOW!


Cooper Brookes [1981] HCA 26 (at [21]), cf Episodes 1, 7, 11 and 24.

s 206F of the Corporations Act 2001.