Bounces and buckets — Big Ben and interpreting conflicting statutory provisions

My overriding feeling was dismay. No, something stronger: anguish perhaps; a deep-seated melancholy; combined with a sense of frustration and futility.

Why, do you ask?

Because recently Ben Simmons (as reported in the SMH) is getting a lot of hate. Well, I’m a lover, not a hater.

Big Ben, that magnificent, majestic, six-foot-ten, preternatural, phenom, point-guard, can guard 1 to 5, dunk in yo face, pass like Magic, unstoppable force after a turnover and on the break, triple double machine: what a man. There’s a pretty good chance that Philly is going to be my alternate team on nights that the Warriors aren’t playing, with a genuine shot at willing the whole thing this year (certainly East presently feels like a Philly vs Bucks with Giannis battle; battling for the right to lose to the Clippers in the Finals). So, Big Ben, I’m in your corner buddy. You do you. Don’t listen to the haters. Particularly don’t listen to Alan James, or whatever his name is.

That’s my bounce — the $0.02 regarding the electronic activity in my cranium. Now for the bucket — an equivalent amount regarding a legal principle.

If you’re interpreting a statute, and there are two provisions that don’t sit easily together, you have to find an interpretation which “will best give effect to the purpose and language of those provisions while maintaining the unity of all the statutory provisions”. That is, if there is a way of analysing the provisions so that they fit together, rather than being in conflict, that will ordinarily represent the preferable construction. But what’s a good case with that principle? Ah, the old chestnut: Project Blue Sky Inc v Australian Broadcasting Authority (1998) 194 CLR 355, [1998] HCA 28 at 381–382 [69]-[71] per McHugh, Gummow, Kirby and Hayne JJ. Doing a “note-up” on that is a sure fire way to keep your internet browser occupied for a few minutes while the zillion cases that have cited it get brought up.

Alright team. JD out. #bouncesandbuckets

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