Revision. Four groups: Literal Golden Mischief Purpose/s15AA. A statute states that it is an offence to loiter or solicit in a street for the purposes of prostitution.
A statute states that it is an offence to loiter or solicit in a street for the purposes of prostitution.
Crafty Mary, a known prostitute, sits in a large bay window on the first floor of a house overlooking a busy street. She taps the window to attract the attention of men on the pavement. She invites John upstairs by beckoning and pointing to the door. He accepts her invitation.
Divine Jane, a known prostitute, who is unable to speak, stands on the street corner and waits for men in cars to stop. She is observed getting into a car and handing Hugh a card that he reads. With a smile on his face, he then drives off immediately without Jane.
Have any offences been committed?
Meaning is always influenced , and sometimes controlled by context. The context might include time, place and any other circumstance that could rationally assist understanding of meaning.
“Secondary material seeking to explain the words of a statute cannot displace the clear meaning of the text of a provision, not least because such material may confuse what was ‘intended...with the effect of the language which in fact has been employed”.’
Per Stephen J in Dugan v Mirror Newspapers Ltd (1979) 142 CLR 583 at 600
"(1) The cash equivalent of any benefit chargeable to taxunder section 61 above is an amount equal to the cost ofthe benefit, less so much (if any) of it as is made good bythe employee to those providing the benefit.
(2) Subject to the following subsections, the cost of abenefit is the amount of any expense incurred in or inconnection with its provision, and (here and in thosesubsections) includes a proper proportion of any expense relating partly to the benefit and partly to other matters.“
16(1) For the avoidance of doubt, it is hereby declared and enacted that the provisions of article 9 of the Bill of Rights, 1688 apply in relation to the Parliament of the Commonwealth and, as so applying, are to be taken to have, in addition to any other operation, the effect of the subsequent provisions of this section....
16(3) In proceedings in any court or tribunal, it is not lawful for evidence to be tendered or received, questions asked or statements, submissions or comments made, concerning proceedings in Parliament, by way of, or for the purpose of-
(a) questioning or relying on the truth, motive, intention or good faith of anything forming part of those proceedings in Parliament;
(b) otherwise questioning or establishing the credibility, motive, intention or good faith of any person; or
(c) drawing, or inviting the drawing of, inferences or conclusions wholly or partly from anything forming part of those proceedings in Parliament.
“The very question which is the subject matter of thepresent appeal was also raised. A Member (at column 1091) said:
"I should be grateful for the Financial Secretary\'s guidanceon these two points. . . . The second matter appliesparticularly to private sector, fee-paying schools where, asthe Financial Secretary knows, there is often anarrangement for the children of staff in these schools to betaught at less than the commercial fee at other schools. Itake it that because of the deletion of clause 54(4) that isnot now caught. Perhaps these examples will help to clarifythe extent to which the Government amendment goes."
The Financial Secretary responded to this question asfollows:
"He mentioned the children of teachers. The removal ofclause 54(4) will affect the position of a child of one of theteachers at the child\'s school, because now the benefit willbe assessed on the cost to the employer, which would bevery small indeed in this case (column 1095)."” [at 18]
In Beswick v. Beswick A.C. 58, 74A Lord Reid said:
Lord Wilberforce (at 629 F-H):
In Fothergill v. Monarch Airlines A.C. 251, 279per Lord Diplock:
In Davis v. Johnson  A.C. 264, 350A per Lord Scarman:
The court cannot attach a meaning to words which they cannot bear, but if the words are capable of bearing more than one meaning why should not Parliament\'s true intention be enforced rather than thwarted? [at 24]
Brennan CJ, Dawson, Toohey and Gummow JJ:
It is well settled that at common law, apart from any reliance upon s 15AB of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901 (Cth), the court may have regard to reports of law reform bodies to ascertain the mischief which a statute is intended to cure. Moreover, the modern approach to statutory interpretation (a) insists that the context be considered in the first instance, not merely at some later stage when ambiguity might be thought to arise, and (b) uses "context" in its widest sense to include such things as the existing state of the law and the mischief which, by legitimate means such as those just mentioned, one may discern the statute was intended to remedy. Instances of general words in a statute being so constrained by their context are numerous. In particular, as McHugh JA pointed out in Isherwood v Butler Pollnow Pty Ltd, if the apparently plain words of a provision are read in the light of the mischief which the statute was designed to overcome and of the objects of the legislation, they may wear a very different appearance. Further, inconvenience or improbability of result may assist the court in preferring to the literal meaning an alternative construction which, by the steps identified above, is reasonably open and more closely conforms to the legislative intent [footnotes omitted]
ACTS INTERPRETATION ACT 1901 - SECT 15AB
Use of extrinsic material in the interpretation of an Act
(1) Subject to subsection (3), in the interpretation of a provision of an Act, if any material not forming part of the Act is capable of assisting in the ascertainment of the meaning of the provision, consideration may be given to that material:
(a) to confirm that the meaning of the provision is the ordinary meaning conveyed by the text of the provision taking into account its context in the Act and the purpose or object underlying the Act; or
(b) to determine the meaning of the provision when:
(i) the provision is ambiguous or obscure; or
(ii) the ordinary meaning conveyed by the text of the provision taking into account its context in the Act and the purpose or object underlying the Act leads to a result that is manifestly absurd or is unreasonable.
(2) Without limiting the generality of subsection (1), the material that may be considered in accordance with that subsection in the interpretation of a provision of an Act includes:
(a) all matters not forming part of the Act that are set out in the document containing the text of the Act as printed by the Government Printer;
(b) any relevant report of a Royal Commission, Law Reform Commission, committee of inquiry or other similar body that was laid before either House of the Parliament before the time when the provision was enacted;
(c) any relevant report of a committee of the Parliament or of either House of the Parliament that was made to the Parliament or that House of the Parliament before the time when the provision was enacted;
(d) any treaty or other international agreement that is referred to in the Act;
(e) any explanatory memorandum relating to the Bill containing the provision, or any other relevant document, that was laid before, or furnished to the members of, either House of the Parliament by a Minister before the time when the provision was enacted;
(f) the speech made to a House of the Parliament by a Minister on the occasion of the moving by that Minister of a motion that the Bill containing the provision be read a second time in that House;
(g) any document (whether or not a document to which a preceding paragraph applies) that is declared by the Act to be a relevant document for the purposes of this section; and
(h) any relevant material in the Journals of the Senate, in the Votes and Proceedings of the House of Representatives or in any official record of debates in the Parliament or either House of the Parliament.
(3) In determining whether consideration should be given to any material in accordance with subsection (1), or in considering the weight to be given to any such material, regard shall be had, in addition to any other relevant matters, to:
(a) the desirability of persons being able to rely on the ordinary meaning conveyed by the text of the provision taking into account its context in the Act and the purpose or object underlying the Act; and
(b) the need to avoid prolonging legal or other proceedings without compensating advantage.
The words of a Minister must not be substituted for the text of the law. Particularly is this so when the intention stated by the Minister but unexpressed in the law is restrictive of the liberty of the individual. It is always possible that through oversight or inadvertence the clear intention of the Parliament fails to be translated into the text of the law. However unfortunate it may be when that happens, the task of the court remains clear. The function of the court is to give effect to the will of Parliament as expressed in the law.