Express references

Duffy v Authority [2016] NSWSC 1062

If a provision refers to a specific thing, it may implicitly exclude other things of that type, especially if similar parts of the Act do mention those other things5.  Here (at [41-42]), notice had to be given to ‘the licensee’.  This meant no-one else needed to be notified, since different provisions did require notice to others and this result fitted the Act’s scheme.

But be careful6 – inconsistency between provisions may be unintended if the Act is complex, imprecisely drafted7 or often amended8.  Parliament may even have thought it went without saying that the omitted items were included.  iTip – use this principle when you have other grounds for your construction9.

This case is from Episode 16 of interpretationNOW!


Bass v Trustee [1999] HCA 9 (at [20-22]); Pearce & Geddes (at [4.33-4.35]).

Houssein v Under Secretary [1982] HCA 2 (at [10]).

Lyford v Commonwealth Bank [1995] FCA 1261 (at [12]).

CFMEU v Hadgkiss [2007] FCAFC 197 (at [15]), illustrates. Carr v Finance Corporation (1982) 150 CLR 139 (at 150), illustrates.