Disorganized Developments v SA [2023] HCA 22

Hells Angels is a criminal organisation.  Two members were directors of Disorganized, which owned land at Cowirra.  It is an offence for members of a criminal organisation to enter property declared a ‘prescribed place’11.  Regulations sought to (but did not on their face) declare the land a ‘prescribed place’.  After conviction, the members argued the regulations were invalid for not actually declaring anything.

The majority agreed.  A declaration must involve a positive statement that the land was a ‘prescribed place’ (something the regulations lacked).  Evidence of purpose did not assist here, nor could words be added ‘to remedy perceived legislative inattention’12.

This principle is from Episode 101 of interpretation NOW!


11 s 83GD(1) of the Criminal Law Consolidation Act 1935 (SA).

12 Taylor [2014] HCA 9 [65], EFX17 [2021] HCA 9 [28] cited.