Meaning of ‘includes’

Sri Guru Gobind Singh v Minister [2022] FCA 118

Was the phrase ‘and includes’ to be read exhaustively as ‘means and includes’ in this migration case?  An analysis of the regulation (at [126-128]) revealed no aim to limit the meaning of ‘adverse information’ to the items listed in the relevant definition.  It followed that ‘and includes’ should take its natural sense.

Where ‘means and includes’ has a limiting force, ‘includes’ is generally used to extend, specify or expand13.  But ‘means and includes’ itself may not always be exhaustive14.  Nor may ‘includes’ have that effect when followed by things within the ordinary meaning15iTip – consult context and purpose when determining the scope of expressions like these.

This principle is from Episode 83 of interpretation NOW!


13 Pearce 9th ed (at [6.9]), Episode 10, International [2012] HCA 45 (at [26]).

14 Hogan (2013) 41 VR 112 (at [47]), Episode 69, cf Dilworth [1899] AC 99.

15 Ryan [2022] FCAFC 36 (at [103), Zickar (1996) 140 ALR 156 (at 170).