‘under or in relation to’

Raptis v City of Melbourne [2017] VSC 247

Episode 19 makes the point that the degree of connection required by phrases like this one depends on purpose and context.  This case (at [43-52]) gives an example.  Raptis ran the Blu-Nite Café from leased premises.  He argued that illegal work by the lessor voided the lease, and he demanded all his rent back.  The lessor said that, because the dispute was one ‘arising under or in relation to’ a retail lease, only the tribunal could hear it12.  The court agreed – ‘under’ pulled one way (narrow), while ‘in relation to’ pushed in the other (wide).  Here, there was a direct relationship between the existing retail lease and its legality.  Accordingly, Raptis’ claim was dismissed. 

This case is from Episode 26 of interpretationNOW!


12  ss 81 and 89 of the Retail Leases Act 2003.