Statutory definitions (scope)

Tigers Realm v Commonwealth [2024] FCA 340

Was movement of coal within Russia a ‘sanctioned import’ under regulations?4  That term included where a ‘person … transports goods … and … the goods are import sanctioned goods for a country …’  The coal was ‘import sanctioned goods’ by declaration.

Tigers said ‘transports’ only extended to coal imported into Australia or another country.  Kennett J noted that the ordinary meaning of ‘transports’ extends beyond import situations5.  However, the judge held it was ‘clearly illogical to use the ordinary meaning of a defined term to read down a definition that expressly widens the meaning of that term’6.  The coal in question was held subject to sanctions.

This principle is from Episode 108 of interpretation NOW!


4 reg 4A(1)(a) of the Autonomous Sanctions Regulations 2011 (Cth).

5 [46], Regional Express [2017] HCA 55 [21], cf HBSY [2023] FCAFC 109 [39].

6 cf Auctus [2021] FCAFC 39 [59-69]), Vietnam [2000] NSWCA 65 [104].