A personal perspective on legislation: Northern Milk revisited - Soured or still fresh

This article below by Law Commission President the Hon Douglas White QC, is republished with the kind permission of the Victoria University of Wellington Law Review.

Hon Douglas White QC, A personal perspective on legislation: Northern Milk revisited - soured or still fresh (2016) 47 VUWLR 699

The thesis of this article is that the overarching objective of statutory interpretation is to "make the Act work" as the Court of Appeal held in Northern Milk. This requires a common sense and practical approach. The article demonstrates the thesis by reference to subsequent Court of Appeal decisions and the complementary legislation establishing the Law Commission and the Parliamentary Counsel Office. The issues raised by the Law Commission’s recently reactivated reference on the law of contempt of court are considered by way of example. The conclusion is that the Northern Milk approach remains apposite.