High Court of Australia

Palgo Holdings Pty Ltd v Gowans [2005] HCA 28

221 CLR 249; 79 ALJR 1121; 215 ALR 253

25 May 2005

Case Number: S317/2004

Before

McHugh, Gummow, Kirby, Hayne, Heydon JJ

Catchwords

Statutes – Construction – Pawnbrokers and Second-hand Dealers Act 1996 (NSW) – Lender charged with carrying on the business of lending money on the security of pawned goods whilst not being the holder of a licence – Lender made short-term secured loans – Loan documents recorded that title in goods passed to lender – Chattel mortgage security – Goods usually kept by the lender for term of loan – Characterisation of transaction – Whether chattel mortgage was a bill of sale under Bills of Sale Act 1898 (NSW) – Whether the lender's business was the "business of lending money on the security of pawned goods" – Meaning of "pawned goods" in the Pawnbrokers and Second-hand Dealers Act 1996 (NSW).

Pawnbroking – History of meaning of "pawn" or "pledge" in Roman and common law – Understanding of "pawn" or "pledge" as one class of bailment of goods, distinct from mortgage and lien – Relevance of possession of goods.

Statutes – Construction – Pawnbrokers and Second-hand Dealers Act 1996 (NSW) – Purposive construction – Contextual construction – Technical and common words – Relevance of Minister's Second Reading Speech – Relevance of consumer credit legislation – Relevance of sham arrangement.

Words and phrases – "pawn", "pawned goods", "pledge".

Pawnbrokers and Second –hand Dealers Act 1996 (NSW), s 6.

Bills of Sale Act 1898 (NSW).
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