In every legal system, statutes are a main source of law and their interpretation is a central mode of legal reasoning, a mastery of which is essential to legal practice. This course reflects on how judges and others interpret statutes, and addresses key questions concerning the nature of sound statutory interpretation. The related principles for the interpretation of contracts or other legal instruments will also be considered. This course is designed for lawyers with an interest in legislation as a distinctive type of law and in problems of interpretation. The course will consider the theory and practice of statutory interpretation especially throughout the common law world, with reference to Australian practice and examples where appropriate. Those who complete the course will be well placed to interpret statutes and to engage critically with the main modes of argument that characterise modern interpretive practice.

Adjunct Professor John McKenna QCAdjunct Professor John McKenna

Barrister; President, University of Queensland Law Graduates Association; Chairman, Incorporated Council of Law Reporting for the State of Queensland; Chairman, History and Publications Sub-Committee of the Supreme Court of Queensland Library; Hon Secretary (Qld), Association of Rhodes Scholars in Australia; Editor Queensland Legal Yearbook (from 2011); Author Supreme Court of Queensland: A Concise History (2012, UQP).

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This course may also be taken as a CPD course or a non-award course. 

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