BXS20 v Minister [2022] FedCFamC2G 515

Calculation of administrative fees often presents problems.  In this case, various factors (including increases) made the fees ‘more difficult to calculate’5.  But this ‘did not render the effect of the provisions uncertain’, as Judge Laing held (at [32]).

The court was bound to give effect to the regulations ‘even where they require some mathematical application’, she said.  Contracts may be void for uncertainty but not statutes.  There is no void-for-vagueness doctrine in Australia6.  In very rare situations, legislation has been found to be ‘incurably defective’ 7iTip – there is no ‘too hard basket’ when it comes to ascertaining statutory meaning.

This principle is from Episode 87 of interpretation NOW!


5 reg 4.13 of the Migration Regulations 1994.

6 Sunland [2021] HCA 35 (at [18-19]), Brown [2017] HCA 43 (at [452]).

7 Walters [2015] VSCA 303 (at [10]), cf Episode 9.