Prisoner rights

Kheir v Dept of Justice and Regulation [2019] VSC 76

Should provisions conferring ‘rights and privileges on a prisoner in return for good behaviour’ be read ‘liberally and beneficially towards the prisoner’? Prisoner rights are interpreted in line with the standard rules of construction – that is, having regard to purpose and context8

Prisoner rights exist in a special context where fundamental human rights are curtailed9 during imprisonment. The ordinary approach is also that statutory powers are to be construed broadly and only read down for express words or clear implication10.  See also > Episode 37.

This case is from Episode 46 of interpretationNOW!


8 Castles [2010] VSC 310 (at [127]).

9 Castles [2010] VSC 310 (at [110]), Daly [2001] UKHL 26 (at [5]).

10 Roy Morgan [2001] HCA 49 (at [11]), cf Shin Kobe Maru [1994] HCA 54 (at [30]).