Statutory construction: inconsistent statutory provisions

State of Queensland v Attrill & Anor [2012] QCA 299

A useful reminder of the general rule where there is inconsistent statutory provisions in earlier and  later legislation

[28] In Goodwin v Phillips[13], Griffiths CJ identified the

“… general rule, that is, that where the provisions of a particular Act of Parliament dealing with a particular subject matter are wholly inconsistent with the provisions of an earlier Act dealing with the same subject matter, then the earlier Act is repealed by implication. It is immaterial whether both Acts are penal Acts or both refer to civil rights. The former must be taken to be repealed by implication. Another branch of the same proposition is this, that if the provisions are not wholly inconsistent, but may become inconsistent in their application to particular cases, then to that extent the provisions of the former Act are excepted or their operation is excluded with respect to cases falling within the provisions of the later Act.”[14]

Brisbane Barrister – David Cormack

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