Siddique v Martin  VSCA 274
The word ‘under’ is common in statutes. In this case, the court had power to direct that items seized ‘under a search warrant’ be returned to their owner. A magistrate had held he could not return things seized by police but not listed on the warrant6.
The court (at ) quoted a tax case to say that the word ‘admits of degrees of precision and exactness on the one hand, and of looseness and inexactness on the other’7 – it takes its meaning from context8. Given the provision here was to allow citizens to get their property back, there was no good reason for ‘under’ to be read narrowly9. iTip – always go back to the context and purpose of the provision.
This case is from Episode 19 of interpretationNOW!
6 Confirmed on appeal,  VSC 423.
7 Energy Resources  FCA 26 (at ).
8 Pearce & Geddes (at [12.11]).
9 cf Griffith University v Tang  HCA 7 (at ).