Practical consequences

Lockwood v Ecoliv Buildings [2017] VSC 109

Episodes 1 & 7 deal with when practical outcomes support one construction over another.  This case (at [96-97]) quotes Project Blue Sky, then observes that courts ‘frequently [refer] to the consequences of competing statutory interpretations to determine which … best suits the purpose of an Act’.

Zammit J said that ‘interpretation by reference to consequences’ is now a ‘reasoning technique that is an aspect of the purposive approach’13.  This is positive comfort that reasoning from consequences is a valid way for resolving contested issues in the interpretation space.  iTip – always make sure first that your view is reasonably open on the text.

This case is from Episode 24 of interpretationNOW!


13  Quoting from Geddes (2005) 2 UNELJ 5 (at 47).