• Publication Date: April 29, 2011
  • EAN: 9781862878259
  • 350 pages; 6" x 8⅝"
Filed Under: Civil Law; Jurisprudence

Resolving Conflicts of Laws


Product Description

Resolving Conflicts of Laws was cited 6 times by the High Court in Momcilovic v The Queen (2011) 2451 CLR 1; [2011] HCA 34. It has also been cited in the Same-Sex Marriage Case (Commonwealth of Australia v Australian Capital Territory) (2013) 250 CLR 441; [2013] HCA 55 at [61], in Plaintiff M47-2012 v Director General of Security (2012) 251 CLR 1; [2012] HCA 46 at [54] and [136], in Sportsbet Pty Ltd v New South Wales (2012) 249 CLR 298; [2012] HCA 13 at [10], in CFMEU v Director of the Fair Work Building Industry Inspectorate (No 2) (2013) 209 FCR 464; [2013] FCAFC 25 at [61]; in Wreck Bay Aboriginal Community Council v Williams [2017] ACTCA 46 at [45] and [47] and in a large number of other appellate and first instance decisions.

An important feature in all legal systems, but especially in federations whose polities have overlapping legislative powers, is that those laws regularly conflict – or at least are claimed to conflict. Any coherent legal system must have principles for resolving such conflicts. Those principles are of immense practical as well as theoretical importance. This book, which straddles constitutional law and statutory interpretation, describes and analyses those principles.

This book does not merely address the conflicts between Commonwealth and State laws resolved by the Constitution (although it does that and in detail). It analyses the resolution of all of the conflicts of laws that occur in the Australian legal system: conflicts between laws enacted by the same Parliament and indeed within the same statute, conflicts between Commonwealth, State, Territory, Imperial laws and delegated legislation.

After identifying the laws in force in Australia, the chapters deal with:

conflicts in laws made by the same legislature, focussing on the interpretative process of statutory construction;

repugnancy, a doctrine with continuing vitality in the areas of s79 of the Judiciary Act, delegated legislation and Territory laws;

conflicts between laws of the Commonwealth and State laws, proposing that the categories of inconsistency (commonly three: direct, indirect and “covering the field”) are best seen aspects of a single constitutional concept;

conflicts between the laws of two States, and

conflicts involving the laws of the self-governing Territories

Fundamental concepts
Australian sources of law
Resolving conflicts between laws having the same source
Repugnancy: A single test for legislative conflict
Inconsistent Commonwealth and State laws
Conflicts between State laws
Conflicts involving Territory laws

This must surely be one of the most scholarly yet useful law books published in Australia this year.

The book is not, although its title might suggest otherwise, a book on conflict of laws or private international law or choice of law. Rather it is an analysis of how courts and lawyers must approach problems that are created when two or more laws might each be construed as covering a situation yet their application will lead to different results.

The basic approach is always to see if the various statutory provisions can be read together. However, that will not necessarily be the case, and if so, what then? … The work deals both with common problems and with problems that will rarely occur. …

The work is very readable yet deals with the topic in a profound way. I have already cited it in a judgment as has one of my colleagues. – Mr Justice P W Young, Australian Law Journal, (2011) 85 ALJ, 455

Leeming brings his considerable expertise in the area to this book, delivering a depth of analysis that is thorough, with cross-references and comparisons which are broad. … The book is comprehensively footnoted. It is a highly recommended and scholarly work. Read full review… – Gregory Geason, Law Letter Tasmania, Summer 2011

It is a major contribution to Australian constitutional law. Importantly, it reflects the experiences of a working lawyer.

The book is informed by wide learning in relation to such difficult but important and very practical topics of federal jurisdiction; federal constitutional law; and state constitutional law and deals lucidly with whether there is a single common law of Australia and with states’ extraterritorial legislative competence.

The author has succeeded in his aims of making the book useful and also readable. This is an excellent book from The Federation Press. Read full review… – Hon Justice Alan Robertson, Bar News, Winter 2011

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