Text context text

Skyy Spirits v Lodestar [2015] FCA 509

In 2010, the High Court said you shouldn’t look at extrinsic materials ‘before exhausting the application of the ordinary rules of statutory construction’2.  Perram J took this as signalling some shift away from the settled idea that we are to look at context in the widest sense upfront. 

Now, in Skyy Spirits (at [45-47]), Perram J accepts that extrinsic materials must be looked at early on.  How do we reconcile this with the High Court mantra that interpretation starts and finishes with the text?  Our practical and best answer is – ‘text > context > text’.  iTip – revisit Episode 2 and review what each step involves – it’s not rocket science!

This case is from Episode 4 of interpretationNOW!


Saeed v Minister [2010] HCA 23 (at [33]).