$25 – $500

The meaning of meanings: use of defined terms in statutory interpretation

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$25 – $500

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UWA Law School

About this event

Defined terms are integral features of legislation and are critical to reading and understanding that legislation. Their purposes are varied, but include clarity about concepts used in the legislation, avoidance of repetition, consistency of meaning and making the legislation easier to read. There are various ways that defined terms are drafted. The drafting method can have a significant impact on how the defined term may contribute to understanding the scope of that term and the operation of the legislation. This seminar explores the ways that differently drafted definitions can influence statutory interpretation. Particular attention will be paid to the uncertain issue of whether the words of a definition can be construed by reference to the term defined, and the avoidance of techniques that may be problematic.

About the presenter

Jacinta Dharmananda (Senior Lecturer, UWA Law School) is a nationally recognized scholar on statutory interpretation law. Currently, her research focusses on the relationship between the legislative process and legislative drafting and the law of statutory interpretation. Jacinta teaches a dedicated course on the interpretation of legislation at the Law School. She is also a doctoral (PhD) candidate at the Australian National University. Her doctorate topic is on the use of extrinsic materials in statutory interpretation. Prior to joining UWA Law School, Jacinta worked for over a decade as a lawyer in private practice and in-house in Australia, Singapore, Japan and New York.

CPD Value: 0.5 in Competency Area 2 (Professional Skills) and 0.5 in Competency Area 4 (Substantive Law)

The CPD rules differ for jurisdictions outside Western Australia and if you are outside Western Australia, we recommend that you check with your local relevant authority whether you can claim any CPD points.

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