Seminar question given to students In 1998 the Federal Parliament appointed a special committee to look into the magpie problem. After months of serious investigation, the committee presented its report to Parliament.
The following is an extract from the report We have heard a great deal of evidence and we are satisfied that there is a need for strong legislation to protect the Australian public from magpies during the breeding season None of he provisions of the proposed new Act will apply to magpies kept by members of the public as pets In August 1998 Parliament passes the Magpie (Protection of Public) Act. The Act receives Royal assent on 15 August 1998.
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Section 3 of the Act provides that Any householder, flat occupier or other person who permits a magpie to remain on his property at any time during the months of August, September or October without reporting the matter to the Department of Environment and Conservation shall be guilty of an offence. There is no reference in the Act to magpies kept as pets. During October 1998 Jerry owned a pet magpie which he kept in a cage at his Brisbane home. He has not notified the Department of Environment and Conservation that he owns a magpie. Has Jerry breached the Act Apply (a) the literal rule, and (b) the purposive approach.
Issue 1 Has Jerry breached the Act according to the literal rule Law According to the literal rule of statutory interpretation, we should always begin by reading a legal text literally, with words and phrases given heir ordinary and natural meanings Fisher v Bell 1961 1 CB 394 Application Did Jerry permit a magpie to remain on his property (explain your reasons based on the facts of the problem) Does the natural and ordinary meaning of a magpie include a pet magpie as the one in Jerry house Has Jerry breached s 3 of the Act Conclusion Include the consequences of the conclusion.
Issue 2 Has Jerry breached the Act according to the purposive approach Law According to the purposive approach to statutory interpretation, if reading the text literally does not reveal the meaning of he text, we should refer to the apparent purpose of the author when drafting the texts AAA of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901 (Act) Application Referring to the long title of the Act, what is the purpose of the Act