Parts of speech

Territory Resources v Secretary [2018] NTSC 12

Interpretation statutes invariably say something like, where a word or phrase is defined, ‘other parts of speech and grammatical forms of that word or phrase have corresponding meanings’8 – s 18A of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901, for example9.

This case (at [56-57]) describes how the Northern Territory provision10 works in practice.  One, it extends to a noun where the verb is defined.  Two, it yields to contrary intent.  Three, it does not apply where the derivative word ‘is being used in a different sense’11 (three is merely a subset of two).  iTip – it will usually be context and purpose which demonstrates a contrary intent or different usage.

This case is from Episode 37 of interpretationNOW!


8 cf Catterall [2016] AATA 691 (at [33]).

9 Terms like ‘cognate expressions’ and ‘derivatives of definitions’ are used.

10 s 23 of the Interpretation Act (NT).

11 Treloar [1992] 1 VR 447 (at 464), Pearce & Geddes (at [6.66]) referred to.