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Competition Law, Adjudication and the High Court

Kathryn McMahon
(2006) 30(3) Melbourne University Law Review 782; [2006] MULR 25



This article explores the statutory interpretative practices and debates in recent competition law cases considered by the High Court. While these debates appear to centre on 'textual/literal' versus 'contextual/purposive' interpretative practices, further examination reveals that these theoretical differences do not adequately predict outcomes. Instead, these practices often mask undisclosed policy decisions that give preference to particular economic and political outcomes concerning the role of the state and the market over other desirable goals. This raises important practical and jurisprudential issues concerning legislative supremacy and judicial accountability, which have significance that extends beyond competition law adjudication.


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