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What is ‘replacement’ of a statute? (Aus)


The interpretation clause in a policy of insurance included a provision that “references to a statute law also includes all its amendments or replacements”.  The Australian Quarantine Act had been replaced by the Bio Security Act, 2015 before the policy came into force but was held to be a replacement statute.  The court held that the clause sought to keep current the references to statutes in the policy and the reference to the quarantine statute was a reference to statutes that brought some diseases under government control for the safety of the nation.  The statute law being replaced had a particular context in the policy: certain diseases that attract government power were excluded from cover. The Quarantine Act had been replaced by the Bio Security Act to deal with a substantially similar subject. There was substantive equivalence between the provisions relating to disease in the Quarantine Act to those in the Bio Security Act, so the interpretation clause applied.  There was no textual nor contextual ground to conclude that the reference to “replacements” was limited to the repeal of statutes in force at the date of inception of the policy. The words were intended to maintain the currency of the policy wording which included reference to the Quarantine Act.

Dural 24/7 v certain underwriters at Lloyd’s of London [2022] FCAFC 147 (Federal Court of Australia)



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