Coshott v Spencer [2016] NSWDC 43

Coshott v Spencer [2016] NSWDC 43

“As to the principles of construction of statutes generally in “no jurisdiction” applications, I note generally the comprehensive analysis of the relevant principles in Meads v Meads [2012] ABQB 571 and SAS Trustee Corporation v Woollard [2014] NSWCA 75 [At 58-60] “Although the principles by which legislation is to be construed are relatively well established, because of the approach taken by the majority in the first decision and the parties on the appeal, it is desirable to reiterate them. As was said by the plurality in Alcan (NT) Alumina Pty Ltd v Commissioner of Territory Revenue (Northern Territory) [2009] HCA 41; (2009) 239 CLR 27 at [47], the task of statutory construction must begin with the words of the statute itself considered in context, which includes the general purposes and policy of the provisions. Ascertainment of the statutory purpose may be based on an express statement of purpose in the statute, inference from the text and, where appropriate, reference to extrinsic material: Certain Lloyd’s Underwriters v Cross [2012] HCA 56; (2012) 248 CLR 378 at [23]-[25], [68] and [88]. As was pointed out by Kiefel J in that case, the starting point is the words in question, read in the context of the statute. Having regard to the majority’s approach in the first decision, it is important to emphasise that it is not up to courts in construing a statute to consider what is or is not a desirable policy and impute that to the legislature as a matter of construction: See Australian Education Union v Department of Education and Children’s Services [2012] HCA 3; (2012) 248 CLR 1 at [26]-[28]; Certain Lloyd’s Underwriters v Cross supra at [26].”

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