Are objects provisions valuable to primary decision-makers? The case of Australia's National Disability Insurance Scheme

Narelle Bedford, Darren O'Donovan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterResearchpeer-review

Abstract

The analysis exmines the role of objects or purposes clauses in contributing to the coherence of statutory interpretation, with a focus on primary decision-makers. A case study method is used featuring the legislation establishing the new National Disability Insurance Scheme.

This chapter critically reflects upon the practical value of objects provisions to frontline statutory decision making. Through a case study, it assesses the circumstances where, and degree to which, objects provisions may be coherently employed by decision­makers. While much of the existing literature focuses upon how statutory objects influence the interpretation of the meaning of the statute, this chapter moves beyond this to consider the degree to which they influence or cohere with the exercise of discre­tion. It argues that objects provisions afford an opportunity to Parliament to promote certain policy values in administrative action. When clearly drafted, objects provisions may also positively influence the design or practical application of executive policy documents. These possible benefits, however, are contingent upon avoiding generality and coherently integrating objects provisions effectively with any related substantive provisions of the legislation. The operation of our case study legislation, Australia's National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013 (Cth) provides valuable insights into these possible benefits and drafting pitfalls.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Coherence of Statutory Interpretation
EditorsJeffrey Barnes
Place of PublicationSydney
PublisherFederation Press
Chapter14
Pages180- 200
Number of pages20
ISBN (Print)978 1 76002 209 9
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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    Bedford, N., & O'Donovan, D. (2019). Are objects provisions valuable to primary decision-makers? The case of Australia's National Disability Insurance Scheme. In J. Barnes (Ed.), The Coherence of Statutory Interpretation (pp. 180- 200). Federation Press.