Project Blue Sky

Woods v Newman [2020] QSC 10

Decided in 1998, Project Blue Sky is one of the rocks on which modern interpretation in Australia stands10.  In Woods (at [35]), Applegarth J said the ‘words of any provision must be interpreted in their context and, so far as possible, enable a harmonious operation between different provisions’11.  ‘These principles are not in contest’, the judge added.

We start with the text, considering at the same time context in the widest sense, seeking harmony and coherence as a baseline requirement.  Where some constructional choice is to be made, it is resolved by statutory purpose – s 15AA.  We then return to the text for quality control and constitutional reasons.

This principle is from Episode 58 of interpretation NOW!


10 Episode 43 under sidebar theme #3 – ‘harmony’.

11 PBS [1998] HCA 28 (at [70-71]), cf Browne [2020] WASCA 16 (at [61]).