Changes in language

LM v K Lawyers (No 2) [2015] WASC 245

When parliament uses different language to express an idea, it usually intends a different meaning.  This is particularly so, said the court (at [18]), where ‘a long-established form of words’ is abandoned. 

However, with mass-migration of provisions from ITAA36, s 1-3(2) of ITAA97 preserves original meaning where the same idea is expressed in different words ‘to achieve a clearer and simpler style’5. This principle applies generally under s 15AC of the Acts Interpretation Act 19016iTip – it’s always tricky to tell when the ‘same idea’ is being expressed in different words for reasons of clarity.  The EM may help, but the words must also be reasonably capable of getting you there.

This case is from Episode 4 of interpretationNOW!


Sherlinc [2004] AATA 113 (at [31]), Metlife [2008] FCA 568 (at [47]).

Dallas Buyers [2015] FCA 317 (at [70]), Anglican [2015] FCAFC 81 (at [14]).