Statutory definitions often create problems, and our tax laws are littered with them. A common issue, discussed (at ), is the circuity involved in trying to construe the definition by reference to the actual term defined4. iTip – don’t do this!
Another issue is the principle that statutory definitions are generally not to be read down unless the context clearly demands it5. Both the majority (at [61-62]) and the dissenting judge, Gageler J (at ), discuss this important principle.
This case is from Episode 1 of interpretationNOW!
4 Owners of Shin Kobe Maru v Empire Shipping Co Inc  HCA 54 (at ).
5 PMT Partners Pty Ltd v Australian National Parks and Wildlife Service  HCA 36 (at ).