Extrinsic materials

Doman v Leadenhall Australia [2023] SASC 97

This case is about the effect of bankruptcy on judgment debt interest.  It is important for two reasons.  First is the principle that statutes – in this case, the Bankruptcy Act 1966 – override the common law to the extent of any inconsistency.  Second is the discussion by McDonald J (at [50-57]) about when extrinsic materials may be properly consulted under s 15AB of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901.

The judge said these materials can be looked at where there is ambiguity, to confirm ordinary meaning or where absurdity arises.  However, they may also be consulted from the start of the process in every case as part of context in the ‘widest sense’9.

This principle is from Episode 99 of interpretation NOW!


9 In this case, statute and common law are to be applied ‘side-by-side’.