Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Remember the days of the ‘old (school) law’ **

View blog Remember the days of the ‘old (school) law’ ** by Matthew Burgess
Following on from last week’s post concerning conflicts of law, a similar area of potential difficulty relates to where governments replace existing legislation with a new act.

For example, in many states of Australia, the state governments have removed the previous 'Stamp Acts' and replaced them with 'Duties Acts' in recent years.

In very simple terms, the new Duties Acts effectively replace the previous Stamp Acts in their entirety as and from a particular date.

Practically however there can often be difficulties with this approach.

Recently, for example, we had a situation where a client became aware of an historical transaction that, while not subject to duty under the current Duties Act, would probably have been subject to stamp duty under the relevant Stamp Act.

It appeared that the only reason duty had not been paid was because the relevant documentation had not been lodged with the Stamps Office at the time.

Even though the relevant Stamp Act has been repealed for over ten years, it became necessary to review the provisions of that Stamp Act in detail as well as various court decisions that we had otherwise assumed had been consigned to the history books.

** For the trainspotters, ‘Remember the Days of the Old School Yard’ is a song by Cat Stevens from 1977