‘in connection with’

R v PJ [2017] NSWCCA 290

It’s no secret that phrases like ‘in connection with’11 routinely raise interpretation problems because of their general nature and variability of operation12.  They may cover a wide spectrum of relationships.  The court in this case, like many others before it, exercised caution in approaching the phrase. 

However, it went a step further saying (at [31]) that ‘greater care’ should be exercised when these terms appear in criminal statutes13.  Relational phrases are like chameleons – they take their colour from their surroundings14iTip – relational phrases must always be ‘appropriately confined to accord with the object and purpose’ of the provision in which they appear.

This case is from Episode 33 of interpretationNOW!


11 See Episodes 19 & 26, Pearce & Geddes (at [12.7-12.8]).

12 cf Goyal [2018] FCA 129 (at [34-36]), Our Town FM [1987] FCA 301 (at [37]).

13 In this case, s 73(2)(c) of the Crimes Act 1900.

14 Technical Products [1989] HCA 24 (at [5]), Morris [2017] FCAFC 97 (at [41]).