Friday, June 14, 2013

Australian GST law enables government officials to time travel:

The Australian Goods and Services Tax Act 1999 is a hefty piece of legislation to try and make your way through, but it's well worth it when you arrive at section 165.55, which states the following example of creative use of the Queen's English:

[The] "Commissioner may disregard scheme in making declarations. 
         For the purposes of making a declaration under this Subdivision, the Commissioner may: 
                     (a)  treat a particular event that actually happened as not having happened; and 
                     (b)  treat a particular event that did not actually happen as having happened and, if appropriate, treat the event as: 
                              (i)  having happened at a particular time; and
                             (ii)  having involved particular action by a particular entity; and
 
                     (c)  treat a particular event that actually happened as: 
                              (i)  having happened at a time different from the time it actually happened; or
                             (ii)  having involved particular action by a particular entity (whether or not the event actually involved any action by that entity)."
This is not unlike the recent decision of the NZ Court of Appeal in the matter of Criminal Bar Association v Attorney General in which the Honourable Judge uttered this:
"But the issue is not what is desirable as a matter of sound public administration, but what is lawful." 




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