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Statutory Interpretation

Interpret the language of statute with a confident understanding of the relevance of context, structure and authority.

About this course

Our leading academic and legal expert will address the role of statutory interpretation in the legal system. Courts have developed rules to govern the interpretation of the laws and other regulations that govern our daily lives. Traditional approaches, the mischief rule, the golden and literal rules have each played a part in explaining the current approach of the courts. Judicial analysis has developed other approaches.

This workshop will enable you to develop analytical tools for the statutory language before you. Interpreting the language of each section with a confident understanding of the relevance of the context, structure and authority of the legislative instrument, you will be able to draw on insights beyond the grasp of the less-trained eye. You will be able to unlock the potential of the skilled advocate’s insights and use the full weight of case precedents, legislative intent, implied assumptions and other aspects of the legislation that are not available to the lay observer. Your submissions and opinions will be endowed with a new level of effectiveness.

Four CPD units (one unit per hour)

Course structure

This course consists of three webinars led by expert James Emmett SC of Banco Chambers. Topics covered include:

General principles of interpretation 

  • Modern Australian approach
  • Text
  • Context
  • Purpose
  • Consequences
  • Exercise: sample legislation.

Textual considerations 

  • Definitions
  • Interpretation Acts
  • Linguistic maxims
  • Principle of legality
  • Exercise: sample legislation.

Interaction between statutes  

  • Amendments, repeals and inconsistencies
  • Regulations and other statutory instruments
  • Exercise:  sample legislation.

The final webinar concludes with Q & A.

Learning outcomes

  • Understand the rules and principles of statutory interpretation
  • Recognise and apply the tools for interpreting and applying legislative provisions
  • Assess when and how legislation can be challenged.



This course will be facilitated online using Zoom video conferencing. You will need:

  • Access to a computer or device with a reliable internet connection
  • Speakers or headphones for audio
  • Microphone and video camera functionality (optional but recommended).
  • Your Zoom sessions will commence at 4:30pm, please be on time!


Full price: $484.00 (GST free)*

*Price subject to change. Please check price at time of purchase. 


A discount of 10% is available to UTS Alumni or UTS Staff enrolling in this short course. If you’re eligible for this discount, please ensure you have provided your UTS Student or Staff ID number in your UTS Open Profile (under ‘A bit about you’).

When signing up for the session, use the relevant voucher code to apply the discount to your cart:

  • UTS Student/Alumni: Lawalumni
  • UTS Staff:Lstaff

Please note that discounts cannot be combined. A limit of one discount applies per person per course session.

Enrolment conditions

COVID-19 response 

Who is this course for?

This program is suitable for, but not limited to:

  • General legal practitioners
  • Solicitors
  • Barristers
  • Members of tribunals or statutory bodies
  • Executive officers from local government
  • State government legal officers
  • Commonwealth agencies legal officers
  • In-house legal teams
  • Corporate counsel
  • Policy officers
  • Procedure and policy managers.




12 October




3 days

Meet the Expert

James Emmett SC

James Emmett SC
Barrister, Banco Chambers

James Emmett is an experienced advocate practising in commercial litigation, insurance, maritime/ aviation, and public law matters. He is ranked by the Doyle’s Guide 2020 as preeminent junior counsel in Transport, leading junior counsel in Commercial Litigation & Dispute Resolution NSW and recommended junior counsel in Insolvency & Restructuring NSW. He is named as an expert in the Shipping chapter of Who’s Who Legal: Australia 2020 and Who’s Who Legal: Transport 2020.

In addition to his private practice, James has lectured for many years, primarily at the University of New South Wales (UNSW), especially in areas of statutory interpretation and private international law. He is presently an Adjunct Associate Professor at UNSW.

James is chair of the National Association for the Visual Arts that leads advocacy, policy and action for a contemporary Australian arts sector. He is also a director of Twenty10 incorporating the Gay & Lesbian Counselling Service and sits on the Advisory Board of the La Trobe University Centre for Legislation.

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Additional Information

Disclaimer: While it is the Faculty's intention to provide this short course as advertised, UTS reserves the right to alter the program, or to cancel this short course should the minimum enrolment quota not be met.

Book a session

Tue 12 Oct 2021 -
Thu 14 Oct 2021
Expert: James Emmett SC
  • Note that enrolments are scheduled to close on 27 September 2021.
  • Online
  • 3 sessions, 4 hours total

This course will be delivered online through Canvas and Zoom sessions.

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