Clear statement

Secretary v AEUNSW [2022] NSWSC 263

Walton J in a industrial relations case surveys a range of interpretation principles then (at [38]) reduces the most fundamental of them to a single sentence –       ‘… the correct approach to the construction of a statutory provision must start and end with the statutory text, and by reference to the purpose of the provision whether stated expressly in the statute or by implication’.  Another case is even briefer in this regard4‘It is well established that the task requires consideration of the text, context and purpose’.

These statements may oversimplify things.  However, they do set the essential direction of enquiry within a settled method – an essential checklist, if you like.

This principle is from Episode 84 of interpretation NOW!


4 Amir [2022] FCAFC 44 (at [53]), cf Hurley [2022] FCAFC 92 (at [66]).