The principle of legality and legislative intention

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The main aim of this chapter is to contribute to the debate about the reality of legislative intentions, and their role in statutory interpretation. I will argue that whatever its justification, the principle of legality, like most principles of statutory interpretation, depends for its conception and operation on the existence of legislative intentions. I will discuss the principle's different possible justifications, its traditional formulation in terms of legislative intention, and the nature of legislative intention, necessary implication, and the requirement of express words.
I will then use Lee v New South Wales Crime Commission as a case study, and finally offer some related comments on the relevance of proportionality to the principle of legality.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe principle of legality in Australia and New Zealand
EditorsDan Meagher, Matthew Groves
PublisherFederation Press
Number of pages26
ISBN (Print)9781760021252
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Justice, Administration of- Australia
  • Law- Australia
  • Justice, Administration of- New Zealand
  • Law- New Zealand

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