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Statutory Interpretation in Private Law

Statutory Interpretation in Private Law

By Prue Vines and M Scott Donald (editors)

In the past 50 years private law has undergone a revolution: statutes are now prevalent in every area. This book considers how judges in private law cases should respond to this change. How are statutes to be interpreted in this area with its deep historical roots, and is it reasonable to think that statutory interpretation might have different aspects and emphases in private law compared with public law?

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  • Full description

    In the past 50 years private law has undergone a revolution: statutes are now prevalent in every area. This book considers how judges in private law cases should respond to this change. How are statutes to be interpreted in this area with its deep historical roots, and is it reasonable to think that statutory interpretation might have different aspects and emphases in private law compared with public law?

    Divided into three parts: Introduction; Current Trends and Debates; and, Applications of Statutory Interpretation in Private Law, the book seeks to recognise the institutional reality of the statutory presence in private law. A distinguished group of authors including the Hon Tom Bathurst AC, Justice Mark Leeming and Justice Ashley Black, consider this question from a range of viewpoints. For example, the area of private law is full of transactional analysis – how different is the construction of contracts from statutory interpretation?

    The book canvasses some general questions about how statutory interpretation operates in private law, such as whether there should be a different concept of the principle of legality in private law, or whether parliamentary intention might include an understanding of private law. Particular applications such as the role of statutory interpretation in contributory negligence, defamation, directors’ duties, consumer law and equity are also considered.

  • About the author

    Prue Vines, FAAL, is Professor and Co-director, Private Law Research & Policy Group, and Director of First Year Studies at UNSW Law. She is the author of many publications in legal system and private law, including Law and Justice in the Legal System, 3rd ed (OUP 2013); (with R Croucher) Succession: Families, Property and Death, 5th ed (LexisNexis 2018); and (with Carolyn Sappideen, ed) Fleming’s The Law of Torts (Thomson Reuters, 2011). Her research focuses on the law of torts (with particular focus on the role of apologies in civil liability) and the law of inheritance (with particular focus on the impact of succession law on Indigenous peoples in Australia) and she has published extensively in both these areas.

    M Scott Donald PhD CFA is Director of the Centre for Law, Markets and Regulation, UNSW Law and External Consultant at Herbert Smith Freehills. After a successful career conducting research for and advising private and public sector institutional investors in Australasia, the UK and Europe for Russell Investment Group, he returned to Australia in 2005 to embark on an academic career examining the regulation and governance of superannuation funds, Australia’s equivalent of the private pension schemes found in many common law countries. He is widely published and regularly presents his research at academic, industry and professional conferences in Australia and overseas.

  • Product details

    ISBN: 9781760022051

    Published: 2015

    Format: Hardcover

  • Table of contents

    CONTENTS

    Preface 
    Contributors 
    Table of Cases 
    Table of Statutes

    PART I – Introduction

    1. Introduction: Is Statutory Interpretation in Private Law Distinctive? 
                Prue Vines and M Scott Donald

    PART II – Current Trends and Debates

    2. 'Icecream is Not "Meat"’: Literal Meaning and Purpose in Statutory Interpretation in Private Law 
                The Hon TF Bathurst AC 
    3. Statutory Interpretation as Private Law 
                The Hon Mark Leeming 
    4. Commentary on ‘Statutory Interpretation as Private Law’ 
                The Hon Ashley Black 
    5. Statutory Interpretation and Private Law Obligations 
                Joachim Dietrich

    PART III – Applications of Statutory Interpretation in Private Law

    6. ‘Co-production’: Novelty and Path Dependence in Defamation Reform 
                Jenny Steele 
    7. Taking Common Law Concepts Seriously: Extending the Principle of Legality in Private Law 
                Prue Vines 
    8. Statutes in a Web of Law 
                Lyria Bennett Moses and Brendan Edgeworth 
    9. An Integrated Approach to Statutory Interpretation: Directors' Duties in the UK 
                Rosemary Teele Langford 
    10. Intuitive Synthesis and Fidelity to Purpose? Judicial Interpretation of the Discretionary Power to Award Civil Penalties under the Australian Consumer Law 
                Jeannie Marie Paterson and Elise Bant 
    11. Contractual Fairness: Statutory Innovation and Statutory Interpretation 
                May Fong Cheong 
    12. Lord Cairns’ Act and Statutory Interpretation: Give the Court an Inch, They’ll Take a Mile
                Katy Barnett 
    13. Statutes and a Fiduciary Course of Dealing
                Simone Degeling

    Index

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