Just Published: Statutory Interpretation in Private Law (Prue Vines and M Scott Donald eds)

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.

Prue Vines and M Scott Donald (eds), Statutory Interpretation in Private Law. 17 May 2019. The Federation Press. 288pp. ISBN 9781760022051. Australian RRP $160.00, International Price $145.00.

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