Topic: Purpose clauses in statutory interpretation: a comparative perspective

Presenter: Professor Stefan Vogenauer - Professor of Comparative Law, University of Oxford

The recent amendment of s15AA of the Commonwealth Acts Interpretation Act 1901 draws attention to the phenomenon of 'purpose clauses', i.e. statutory requirements to take into account the 'purpose', 'object' or 'intention' in the interpretation of statutory provisions. Such interpretive precepts exist in many common law jurisdictions, although there are subtle differences between them. Do they matter? And how do these provisions relate to the interpretative approaches of civil law systems and of those common law jurisdictions that lack similar requirements, for example the UK jurisdictions? A comparative perspective can assist in better understanding what purpose clauses like s15AA actually require the courts to do. 

All welcome, no RSVP required.

Contact: Beth Williams, ph: 334 69350, email:

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