Statutory Interpretation and Statute Law essay

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The second case highlights how Commonwealth Chemicals Commission officers made a major mistake by not detaining Lucia for further questioning under the Act. This is troubling because she was in possession of the banned chemical, had large quantities of it, was storing it in her house and was importing the chemicals in from South America. These different elements highlight the fact that Lucia could be involved in some kind of terrorist related activity. Where, the raid and subsequent search of the property would provide more than enough information for officers to suspect that she was involved in such activity, based on probable cause. However, because officers did not detain Lucia under the different provisions of the Act, means that the terrorist organization could know that law enforcement is not far behind. At which point, they could change their tactics or plans, to avoid any kind of further disruptions from the authorities.

These two cases highlight the ways that the law is interpreted can have a dramatic impact upon the lives of innocent people and criminals. This is because misinterpreting the intent and various provisions of the law, can lead to inappropriate actions from law enforcement on both sides of the spectrum. Where, one could infer that in the first case involving Helena, that Commonwealth Chemicals Commission officers had no justification for charging her. As a result, it is advisable that the government quietly drop the charges against her. Otherwise, defense counsel will be able to tear the case against her apart based on: Constitutional grounds, case precedent and the intention of the law from Parliament. While, in the case against Lucia, she should be charged for violating sections 4 and 5 of the Act. This is because she was carrying large amounts of the chemical Methalin, which is specifically outlawed. Then, the fact that she was importing and storing large quantities of it in her house; means that she more than likely was working in conjunction with a terrorist organization. This was why Parliament passed the law originally. As a result, the misinterpretation of the law could increase the possibility that such chemicals could be used in a future terrorist attack somewhere in Australia. Therefore, it is advisable for prosecutors to issue a warrant for the arrest of Lucia under the Act; and instruct law enforcement to detain her immediately.

Part II

Locating and Using Legislation

Locate the most current electronic copy of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901 (Cth). Describe where and how you located this Act.

This Act was located at Common Wealth of Australia Law. There were several different previous versions of the Act with the latest one being listed, along with the date that it became effective. This was found by conducting a Google search and typing in the name of the Act. At which point, the web site Common Wealth of Australia Law would come up.

The Acts Interpretation Act 1901 (Cth) provides specific definitions for the meaning of individual and statutory declaration in any Act, unless the contrary intention appears. Note the section/s that provide for this in correct AGLC footnote format.

The definition of an individual under the Acts Interpretation Act 1901 defines an individual as a person or authority with the power to make an appointment.

A statutory declaration is any kind of declaration for any provision of the Act made during judicial proceeding.

Locate the most current electronic copy of the Acts Interpretation Act 1954 (Qld). What do the number & letter of the latest reprint of this Act signify

The number and letter that is showing on the Acts Interpretation Act 1954 is 15E. These signify the last time that the law was amended. In this particular case, this would have taken place with the Reprints Act of 1992.

Commencement of Legislation

When did the Acts Interpretation Act 1901 (Cth) originally commence and where did you locate this information?

The Acts Interpretation Act 1901 originally started on the 19th of December 1973. This information was obtained by going to Commonwealth of Australia Law, by typing in the name of the act in the search box. At which point, the different amendments to the Acts will show up along with the date that they were effective.

What other source/s could you have used to locate this information?

Another source that could have been used to locate this information was the Parliamentary Library.

Updating and backdating Legislation

Until what date have amendments been incorporated into the latest electronic reprint of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901 (Cth)

The date that different amendments would be incorporated into the Act would be the 4 December 2009.

What is the short title of the most recent amending Act listed in the Notes of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901 (Cth) and what amendments did this Act make to the Acts Interpretation Act 1901 (Cth)?

The short title is the Acts Interpretation Act. The different amendments sought to ensure: that the Act is not working in conflict with the Commonwealth Constitution, to improve the clarifications of the Act, other case law / legislation that would apply and how the Act would apply to the costal sea areas.

Has the Acts Interpretation Act 1901 (Cth) been amended since this, and if so how? Briefly describe your research process including the source/s you consulted.

Since 2009 the Acts Interpretation Act 1901 has not been amended. The research that was used to determine this was by visiting Commonwealth of Australia Law, which would show the various amendments and when they took place.

What has happened to section 48A of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901 (Cth)?

It was removed from the Act as part of the latest changes that were made to the Acts Interpretation Act 1901.

Describe the history of section 14A of the Acts Interpretation Act 1954 (Qld)

Section 14A was removed from the Acts Interpretation Act 1954 through an amendment that would eliminate this provision of the law in 2010.

Judicial Consideration of Legislation

Locate one case that has applied the reckoning of time provisions in the Acts Interpretation Act 1901

One case that has provided the reckoning of time provisions is: New South Wales v Commonwealth (2006) ALR 1. The way this case was found was by conducting a search of legal web sites such as Commonwealth of Australia Law. You would then type in the terms reckoning of time provisions and the Acts Interpretation Act 1901.

Locate one case that involved judicial consideration of the use of extrinsic material in statutory interpretation, as provided for by the Acts Interpretation Act 1954 (Qld) s 14B.

One case that would involve judicial consideration was: Robert Fitzsimmons and Sunshine Coast Regional Council (C/2009/55). The process of researching the provisions was found through consulting Commonwealth of Australia Law. Then, typing in judicial consideration and the Acts of Interpretation act 1954. The case clarified the provision of body politic and a corporation. This is important because it determines what is defined as a corporate body, where this case highlighted how various government entities and other organizations could be included.

Bills & Explanatory Memoranda

The Acts Interpretation Act 1901 (Cth) has recently been amended by the Evidence Amendment Act 2008 (Cth). Locate the Evidence Amendment Bill 2008 (Cth) and the associated Explanatory Memorandum. How did you locate these documents?

The documents were located by going to Commonwealth of Australia Law and then typing in Evidence Amendment Act 2008 (Cth).

Briefly describe the intended purpose of the Evidence Amendment Act 2008 as outlined in the Explanatory Memorandum (Cth).

The purpose of the Evidence Amendment Act 2008 is to implement the various reforms that were recommended by the Australian Law Reform Commission, New South Wales Law Reform Commission and the Victorian Law Reform Commission in 2006.

Hansard & Second Reading Speeches

Locate the Minister's second reading speech for the Evidence Amendment Bill 2008 (Cth). Briefly describe the steps that you took to locate this document.

The Minister's second reading was found by conducting a Google search by typing in the key words Minister's second reading speech Evidence Amendment Bill 2008.

Which Minister gave the speech and which date did it take place?

Chris Hayes gave the speech to the House on the 18th of June 2008.


Clearly, the fictional cases in part one and the search of the various acts as well amendments in part two highlight how the overall interpretation of the law is constantly changing. This is because various circumstances arise that will cause expectations to change, as to how such distinctions are made. As a result, Parliament and the courts have been wrestling with this issue of interpretation through various case precedents and with different amendments. It is through examining these different elements that will provide the greatest insights as to how various interpretations of the law have an effect on the daily lives of millions of people.


Acts Interpretation Act 1901 (Cth)

Acts Interpretation Act 1901 (Cth) s 33A…[continue]

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