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To interpret or translate? The judicial role for GST cases.

Publication date: 01 Dec 05 | Source: AUSTRALIAN GST JOURNAL

Issue: Vol 5 issue 11 2005

Pages: pp. 225-238

It is proposed in this paper to set out briefly the basic rules of interpretation of all statutes and, to the extent that there are suggested to be special rules for the interpretation of taxation legislation, those rules. Some consideration will be given to the special role which the courts play in statutory interpretation. It is then proposed to address in turn each of the special problems which apply to the interpretation of the GST and which are stated above. The issues are to be seen by analogy against the difference between interpretation and translation. Translation involves the mere rendering of something into another language. Interpretation, on the other hand will involve elucidation and explanation.

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Author profile

Justice Graham Hill
Graham was a Judge of the Federal Court of Australia from 1989 until his death in 2005. He was at various stages of his career a solicitor, barrister and Queens Counsel. Graham served as President of the Taxation Institute in 1985. As a solicitor and then as a barrister, two of Graham's many areas of expertise (in addition to income tax) were stamp duty and sales tax. He was the author of the leading text on New South Wales stamp duty. More recently, he took a keen interest in GST. For over 35 years, he taught in the Masters program conducted by the University of Sydney Law School. He was very proud of the fact that he was Australia's longest serving tax teacher. Justice Hill authored many books and was a regular keynote speaker for the Tax Institute. - Current at 24 August 2005
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