Herbert v NSW [2019] NSWSC 1703

Coherence is an emerging buzzword9.  This case (at [69]) says the modern approach to interpretation ‘permits regard to be had to how a related statute deals with a particular topic to arrive at a coherent view of the body of law’.  Coherence of this kind is at a level above coherence merely within a statute10

The more usual role of coherence lies in the choice between alternate meanings within a statute11.  Coherence is neither new nor unanticipated in the world of statutes.  It captures the idea of systemic consistency but is suggestive of something more.  iTip – always try to harmonise provisions coherently as a whole in line with context and purpose.

This case is from Episode 56 of interpretation NOW!


9 Barnes (ed) Coherence of Statutory Interpretation illustrates.

10 Episode 43 (case 10), SAS Trustee [2018] HCA 55 (at [20]).

11 cf Melbourne Apartment [2019] FCA 2118 (at [90-92]).