Photo: Rob Suisted
When Una Jagose, Solicitor-General, began practice as a lawyer the Acts Interpretation Act urged:
“Every Act, and every provision or enactment thereof, shall be deemed remedial, whether its immediate purport is to direct the doing of anything Parliament deems to be for the public good, or to prevent or punish the doing of anything it deems contrary to the public good, and shall accordingly receive such fair, large, and liberal construction and interpretation as will best ensure the attainment of the object of the Act and of such provision or enactment according to its true intent, meaning, and spirit”
Now, the Interpretation Act says:
“The meaning of an enactment must be ascertained from its text and in the light of its purpose.”
The NZ statute book is being overhauled in favour of plain language. Have other parts of the legal system followed suit? Una will outline her ambition for clarity as Government’s chief advocate and adviser and chief executive of Crown Law.