Telephone books

Oreb v ASIC (No 2) [2017] FCAFC 49

The court (at [54]) referred to the ‘massive and over complex verbiage’ of the 2500 page Corporations Act, where professionals and judges ‘must navigate tortuous, mind-numbingly detailed, cascading provisions’.  These ‘telephone books’ enacted ‘at huge cost to the community’14 raise the need for more principles-based drafting, the court said. 

This debate has long raged in tax circles, where telephone books are the norm.  The reasons here are many – historical, legal and cultural.  The best way to understand these telephone books is by the correct application of interpretive rules.  iTip – these  rules help ensure you don’t get the wrong number.              

This case is from Episode 29 of interpretationNOW!


14  cf Rares J [2014] FedJSch 10.