The Fair Work Act and other names of shame

Orr, Graeme and Tham, Joo-Cheong (2009) The Fair Work Act and other names of shame. Australian Journal of Administrative Law, 16 3: 74-76.

Author Orr, Graeme
Tham, Joo-Cheong
Title The Fair Work Act and other names of shame
Journal name Australian Journal of Administrative Law   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1320-7105
Publication date 2009-05
Sub-type Article (original research)
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 16
Issue 3
Start page 74
End page 76
Total pages 3
Place of publication North Ryde, NSW, Australia
Publisher Law Book Company
Language eng
Abstract The title of a piece of legislation should serve a simple, single purpose. It ought provide a descriptive handle. Think of the Trade Practices Act 1974 (Cth) , the Ombudsman Act 1976 (Cth) or the various Industrial Relations Acts. "This is the field I regulate and this is what you call me." Language of course is not always so simple. What forms the Unfair Contracts Act to one sub-contractor may, to the powerful corporation who hires that sub-contractor, read as the Unmaking the Sanctity of Contracts Act . Legislative titling is an arcane field, negotiating the boundaries of the legislative and administrative processes of government. In theory, Parliaments can amend the title of a Bill or Regulation. (Short and long titles, the preamble or recital and purpose clause have been described as "amendable descriptive components": Bennion F , Statutory Interpretation (2nd ed, Butterworths, London, 1992) pp 496-506.) But in practice Parliaments no more debate, let alone meddle with, legislative titles than they do the headings to statutory parts and sections. Naming legislation is thus an act of executive fiat, exercised by the Minister who brings the ultimate bill to Cabinet. Yet the tradition was that Ministers, like Parliaments, concerned themselves with the substance of legislation, not its form. At best, there was a Cabinet veto on inappropriate legislative titles, rarely used. Instead, the matter was in the hands of the departmental staff and parliamentary counsel who drafted the flesh of the written law on the skeleton of government policy.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Unknown

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: TC Beirne School of Law Publications
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Created: Thu, 07 Oct 2010, 15:30:55 EST by Maria Campbell on behalf of The University of Queensland Library