Where a statute contains what was called a ‘defined decision making structure’, this should be followed even if the primary value expressed in a general objects clause may favour a different outcome.
In this child-worker vetting case, the power to give a negative notice was limited to 3 defined situations1. Ginnane J said (at ) this categorical structure must be followed, even where it was against the primary object of protecting children from harm. Giving a negative notice outside the 3 situations was beyond power. iTip – although an objects clause is available as an aid to construction, it cannot be used to subvert clear statutory language or structure.
This case is from Episode 50 of interpretationNOW!
1 Working with Children Act 2005 (VIC).