In deciding what a provision means, we invariably test things against hypothetical facts. The rationale is that the outcomes produced will shine a light on which construction best fits the statutory purpose. A natural inclination in this process is to frame our examples at the outer limits of speculation in order to make the choice involved as stark as possible.
This case (at ) cautions that ‘construction of legislation is not to be tested by reference to extreme examples or distorting possibilities’5. By all means, test your hypothesis against a variety of assumed facts. Be aware, though, that extreme examples may produce false or unreliable results.
This case is from Episode 37 of interpretationNOW!