DRJ v Victims Rights (No 2) [2020] NSWCA 242

Five Yazidi women who had never been to Australia were subjected to violence in Syria by an Australian man.  Benefits under NSW law were denied as the violence did not occur in NSW4.  This outcome depended on the scope of the law, interpretation provisions5, presumptions that statutes don’t have extra-territorial effect6, and that ‘all crime is local’7.

Three things stand out – (1) the issue is of statutory construction, not legislative competence;  (2) within the process described in Episode 66, the external factors mentioned are part of wider context;  (3) in the absence of a ‘coherent purpose’, the central focus of the statute is violence committed in NSW.

This principle is from Episode 67 of interpretation NOW!


4 ss 19 & 23 of the Victims Rights and Support Act 2013 (NSW).

5 s 12(1) Interpretation Act 1987, cf Impiombato [2020] FCA 1720 (at [95]).

6 Chubb [2013] NSWCA 212 (at [145]), Solomons [2002] HCA 47 (at [9]) cited.

7 Thompson (1989) 169 CLR 1 (at 33), Lipohar [1999] HCA 65 (at [25]) cited.