Statutory scheme

Caltex Australia v FCT [2019] FCA 1849

Instruments forming part of a legislative scheme are generally read together for interpretational purposes5.  For 2 or more Acts to form a scheme, they must be interdependent in a meaningful way6.  It is not enough that they merely have some wider common purpose or some incidental connection.

Davies J (at [37]) said the Acts in question ‘do not have co-extensive fields of operation and do not deal with the same subject matter’.  This was despite their passage as a ‘package of legislation’7.  They ‘have different purposes and operate independently of each other’, said the judge.  iTip – interdependence of operation is necessary for there to be a scheme.

This case is from Episode 55 of interpretation NOW!


5 Episodes 9 & 24, Pearce 9th ed (at [3.45-3.46], 452).

6 Certain Lloyd’s [2012] HCA 56 (at [97-98]).

7 cf Mailes [2001] NSWCCA 155 (at [108]), Evans [2018] TASFC 3 (at [50]).