Chevron Australia v FCT (No 4) [2015] FCA 1092

This case raised whether Div 815-A transfer pricing provisions were invalid by reason of textual uncertainty.  Robertson J said ‘no’.  Legislation can never be void or invalid due to uncertainty5.  However difficult the exercise, a statute always has a meaning and a singular meaning at that. 

Neither a court nor an administrator can hold more than one view of what the law requires at any particular time.  They cannot ‘speak with a forked tongue’6 – this is fundamental.  As the judge in this case put it: ‘difficulties of construction are not to be regarded as synonymous with legal uncertainty’.  iTip – there is always a meaning – our job as interpreters of legislation is to find it.

This case is from Episode 7 of interpretationNOW!


EHL Burgess [2015] VSCA 269 (at [74]).

World Best [2005] NSWCA 261 (at [171]).