Interpretation in the French CJ High Court
Australian Bar Review, Vol. 44, No. 1, pp. 95-106, 2017
13 Pages Posted: 6 Jul 2017 Last revised: 11 Jul 2017
Date Written: July 3, 2017
A number of rules of interpretation emerge quite consistently from the jurisprudence of the High Court under the leadership of French CJ. The capacity for different interpretive outcomes, though, remains perennial. Much of the disagreement in interpretation cases is not about rules or even principles. The French High Court has not been divided along “literal” and “purposive” lines. The question it has instead focused on is whether the text is capable of a purposive interpretation – if it is, that interpretation must be adopted. The capability question is a language dilemma. It is resolved not so much by legal rules and principles as by grammatical canons and personal views about the flexibility of language.
Keywords: Statutory interpretation, statutory construction, contractual interpretation, treaty interpretation, legislation incorporating treaty, legal meaning, canons of construction, Acts Interpretation Act 1901 s 15AA, Acts Interpretation Act 1901 s 15AB, Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, French CJ
JEL Classification: K10, K30, K33
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation