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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

8.45am - Introduction and overview


8.55am - General principles of interpretation

  • modern Australian approach
  • text
  • context
  • purpose
  • consequences
  • Exercise: sample legislation


9.55am - Textual considerations

  • definitions
  • technical expressions
  • Interpretation Acts
  • linguistic maxims
  • Exercise: sample legislation


10.45am - Morning tea


11.00am - Substantive presumptions

  • geographic/territorial limitations
  • retrospectivity
  • principle of legality


11.45am  - Interaction between statutes

  • amendments, repeals and inconsistencies
  • codes
  • regulations and other statutory instruments
  • Exercise: sample legislation


12.50pm - Q & A

1.00pm - Close


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



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 there’s a limit of one discount rate per participant.

Who is this course for?

This program is particularly useful for:

  • 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


24 March




4 hrs

Meet the Expert

James Emmett

James Emmett
Barrister, Banco Chambers

James Emmett is an experienced advocate practising in commercial litigation, professional negligence, insurance, and administrative law matters. He also acts in maritime and aviation disputes. He is ranked by Doyles Guide to the Legal Profession as a recommended counsel for commercial litigation and insolvency matters, and as a leading counsel for maritime law matters.

Prior to coming to the Bar, James was the Associate to Chief Justice Gleeson in the High Court of Australia and practised as a solicitor at Mallesons Stephen Jacques (now King & Wood Mallesons).

James holds an LLB (University of NSW) and an MA (Cantab), and has lectured at the University of NSW since 2007 where he is presently an Adjunct Associate Professor.

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Book a session

Tue 24 Mar 2020 -
Tue 24 Mar 2020
Expert: James Emmett
  • 8.45am to 1pm, 24 March 2020 | UTS Building 10, Level 7: 235 Jones St, Ultimo NSW 2007
  • On-campus

Course added to your cart



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