What non-parole period applies where a sentence includes offences for which minimum non-parole periods of both 70% or 50% are specified?2 Courts normally favour leniency in penal situations, but this is now a rule of last ‘last resort’ 3. Accordingly, the court applied the ordinary rules of interpretation.
This led to a proportional approach being taken under which some offences attracted 50% and others 70%. A less lenient approach may have led to injustice, and could always have been specified by parliament. iTip – penal provisions, including sentencing laws, are construed in the same way as other statutory provisions4, as the court did here.
This case is from Episode 50 of interpretationNOW!
2 ss 55 & 130 of the Sentencing Act (NT).
4 Aubrey  HCA 18 (at ), Pearce & Geddes (at [9.8]).