Statutory Interpretation

We have advised extensively on complex statutory interpretation matters, including on the impact of a particular interpretation of Acts, regulations and policies. Our experience covers Commonwealth, State and Territory legislation. We have a long history of advising government departments (both the State and Federal level), statutory authorities and other public sector organisations which brings a deep knowledge of the regulatory framework and context in which government operates.

In addition to advising on interpretation of portfolio legislation, we regularly advise on elements of the legislative framework applying to government agencies, including in the Commonwealth space the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (Cth), Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Cth), Privacy Act 1988 (Cth), Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Act 1977 (Cth), Administrative Appeals Tribunal Act 1975 (Cth) and Legislative Instruments Act 2003 (Cth).

We advise Commonwealth agencies on statutory interpretation within the context of the Commonwealth litigation framework established under the Judiciary Act 1903 (Cth) and in compliance with the Legal Services Directions 2005 and the Model Litigant Policy.

We have particular experience in undertaking compliance reviews for agencies implementing new legislation (for example, examining whether the ICT system and operational processes for a new program comply with the governing Act). We also have experience in undertaking reviews of legislation addressing a particular issue across all Australian jurisdictions.

Statutory interpretation questions often arise when an agency is seeking to resolve a broader issue. We can apply our statutory interpretation expertise to assist government agencies answer the statutory question, and out other government law experience to assist agencies with the next legal steps to resolve the broader issues (for example, by resolving a dispute, preparing a statutory instrument or developing a robust administrative decision making framework).

DAFF fishing adjustment and licence buy back arrangements

Acted for the Commonwealth Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) and the Department of Environment on a series of complex fishing adjustment and licence buy back tenders and arrangements. This included developing a package of documentation for different programs and schemes and assisting with responses and implementation.

Personally controlled electronic health record (PCEHR)- legislative compliance

Advised the Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing (DoHA) and the Department of Human Services (DHS) in relation to the privacy impact assessment for the personally controlled electronic health record (PCEHR) system and a legislative compliance assessment for the PCEHR System.