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The Stated Purposes Canon Seminar

Deakin Law School in conjunction with the 'Statutes and Governance Project' invite you to a seminar.

Deakin Law School in conjunction with the 'Statutes and Governance Project'* hosts a seminar on the Stated Purposes Canon.

The purpose of this seminar is to defend the stated purposes canon—and seeks to prompt a conversation on its role in both statutory interpretation and the role of enacted purposes in statutory design. The core argument is that this canon—that courts cannot construe statutes to negate their stated purposes—is and should be viewed as a bedrock principle of statutory interpretation. The seminar will then highlight that the stated purpose canon should be a point of agreement between textualists and purposivists, a point of agreement that has deep roots in the Anglo-American tradition that extends back to early English statutory practice. Building on literature on the political economy of legislative process, the seminar will then defend the canon as providing a means for courts to prioritize the most public-regarding elements of legislation and thus to produce relatively more public-regarding interpretations. Finally, the seminar addresses the implications of the stated purposes canon for judicial review of administrative action.

About the speaker

Kevin M. Stack is Lee S. and Charles A. Speir Professor of Law at Vanderbilt University Law School. He writes on administrative law, regulation, statutory interpretation, and separation of powers. He was recognized with the American Bar Association’s 2013 Annual Scholarship Award for the best published work in administrative law for his Michigan Law Review article, “Interpreting Regulations.” He is co-author (with Lisa S. Bressman and Edward L. Rubin) of The Regulatory State (Aspen Publishers, second edition 2013), a casebook on statutes and administrative lawmaking. His work has appeared in numerous law reviews, including the Yale Law Journal, Columbia Law Review, Michigan Law Review, Cornell Law Review, Northwestern University Law Review, and George Washington Law Review.  He joined Vanderbilt’s law faculty in 2007 and served as associate dean for research from 2008 to 2010 and again from 2012 to 2015.  He also been on the faculty at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law of Yeshiva University, which he joined after practicing as an associate at Jenner & Block in Washington, D.C. Prior to practice, he served as a law clerk for Judge Kimba M. Wood of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York and for Judge A. Wallace Tashima of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Before earning his J.D. at Yale Law School, he earned a master’s degree in philosophy at Oxford University, supported by a Fulbright Scholarship, and a B.A. from Brown University. 

The seminar is free to attend but we ask that you please register for catering and venue capacity purposes.

*The Statutes and Governance Project is a collaborative research project involving public law and legislation scholars from the Deakin Law School, the Monash University Faculty of Law and the Gilbert + Tobin Centre of Public Law at the University of New South Wales.