Cognate expressions

Bluescope Steel v AWU [2019] FCAFC 84

This case (at [54]) reminds us that, where a phrase is given a particular meaning by the court, other grammatical forms of that phrase (often called cognate or derivative expressions) have ‘similar effect’ where repeated in a later statute. 

The High Court, in an earlier case, had determined that the phrase ‘ordinary time rate of pay’ picked up the standard or ordinary hours per week as fixed by the applicable award, agreement or contract.  A presumption in favour of this construction therefore applied to a later statute adopting the same phraseology.  iTip – the strength of the presumption depends on circumstances and is rebuttable8.

This case is from Episode 49 of interpretationNOW!


8 cf Masson v Parsons [2019] HCA 21 (at [32, 69]).