The key quote from this class action case on common fund orders (at ) is that policy ‘divorced from law has no voice in the courts’9. It was argued that the policy behind another provision in a different statute controlled interpretation of federal class action provisions – rejected.
Policy can be a ‘difficult magic’. The court drew attention to the ‘danger of decontextualising the underlying rationale for a penal provision operating in a quite different area’10. The point being made is short but important. Policy derived from a different statutory context is false magic and has no voice in interpretation. iTip – always be careful with policy.
This case is from Episode 51 of interpretation NOW!
9 French CJ Dolores Umbridge (2008) 82 ALJ 322 (at 323) quoted.