Unsatisfactory consequences

Richmond Football Club v Verraty[2019] VSC 597

The consequences of an interpretation are considered more now than in the past.  They remain difficult arguments to make in practice, however.  This case (at [58]) shows courts are rarely ‘swayed’ by arguments of this kind alone, and that the merits of competing views are to be looked at carefully5

The approach argued in this case would produce not only an ‘unsatisfactory state of affairs’, but an outcome at odds with the main purpose of the statute.  It would also promote uncertainty, as well as potential unfairness.  For these reasons, it was rejected.  iTip – be careful not to focus on consequences to the exclusion of other factors.       

This case is from Episode 54 of interpretation NOW!


5 Pearce & Geddes (at [2.40]) cited, cf Episodes 1, 7 and 24.