Like notes, examples are part of the Act but their interpretive status is unclear9.  Under AIA s 15AD(a), they are ‘not exhaustive’ and can’t limit a provision’s scope.  AIA s 15AD(b) used to say that a provision overrides its example if the two are inconsistent.  It was rewritten in 2011 and now says ‘the example may extend the operation of the provision’.

The policy reason for this was that parliament, by enacting the example, must have intended to cover it ‘whether or not it strictly falls within the scope of the provision’10.  The word ‘may’ also requires consideration of ‘whether [the extension] is appropriate’.  However, the precise limits of what is ‘appropriate’ remain to be seen.

This case is from Episode 17 of interpretationNOW!


9  AIA s 13(1).  See Episode 5 ‘status of notes’.

10  EM to the Acts Interpretation Amendment Bill 2001 (at 19).