Ejusdem generis

R v Hicks [2019] ACTSC 331

This case (at [15-29]) sets out the law on ejusdem generis (‘of the same kind’)5.  Hicks argued that words he wrote in an exercise book were not ‘child exploitation material’6 as they did not ‘represent’ the sexual content in question.  ‘Represent’ was defined to mean ‘depict or otherwise represent on or in a film, photograph, drawing, audiotape, videotape, computer game, the internet or anything else’.

Elkaim J rejected that ‘or anything else’ be read ejusdem generis.  There was no class or genus of things established by the definition – it was a ‘smorgasbord’.  iTip – as the judge said (at [18]), ejusdem generis ‘is to be applied with caution’.

This case is from Episode 56 of interpretation NOW!


5 Tasty [2012] NSWCA 181 (at [54]), Episodes 18 & 25, Pearce 9th ed (at [4.34 on]).

6 ss 64 & 65 of the Crimes Act 1900 (ACT).