Lanigan v Circus Oz  VSC 35
A performer took VCAT harassment proceedings against the circus. One issue was whether VCAT was a ‘court’ for limitation of action purposes11. VCAT had been held to be a ‘court’ for other purposes12.
McDonald J (at ) held it was not a ‘court’ here. The statutory framework was different and other factors pointed to a negative finding13. As the judge pointed out (at ), whether a tribunal is a ‘court’ depends on the context of the statute involved. In our system of interpretation, the same word may well mean different things in different statutes. iTip – the answer in each case will depend on an evidence-based analysis of context and purpose.
This principle is from Episode 82 of interpretation NOW!
11 s 3(1) of the Limitation of Actions Act 1958 (VIC).
12 Subway Systems  VSCA 142 (at [73-75]) Kyrou AJA dissenting.
13 cf Sudi  VSCA 266 (at ), ADT  FCAFC 104 (at [226-228]).