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QLD What does it all mean

Discussion in 'Australian Law Students Forum' started by cuttyshatface, 14 July 2017.

  1. cuttyshatface

    cuttyshatface Well-Known Member

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    Is it possible to request the Supreme, or any court in that matter to define certain words where definitions are not specifically provided in the relevant acts? Not part of any proceeding but a matter initiated specifically for this purpose? If so how?
     
  2. Tim W

    Tim W Lawyer
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    It's not impossible, at least in theory,
    but as a stand alone application,
    rather than as an interlocutory, it's not at all common.

    Most terms having a specific legal meaning,
    as distinct from their "plain and ordinary" or "everyday" meaning,
    are so defined in the statute in which they are used.

    In the context of Queensland, there is also the Acts Interpretation Act 1954 (Qld).
    For Commonwealth matters (such as family law), there is also
    the Acts Interpretation Act 1901 (Cth).

    Lower courts will typically be bound to follow
    meanings, definitions and interpretations made in higher courts.
     
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    #2 Tim W, 14 July 2017
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  3. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

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    I doubt a court would hear the matter, likely to be deemed a waste of court resources without a matter to be tried.

    As Tim said it is not uncommon for a lower court to refer questions to a higher court, or questions of law to be put before a court where there is a dispute between two parties.
     
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  4. Rob Legat - SBPL

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    Then there is the matter of context. Because of the intricacies of the English language, the definition and usage of words can change depending on the setting in which they are used. It may only be a minor difference, but a minor difference can have a huge impact in a court case. A court may be reluctant to be bound to a definition outside a certain factual setting.
     
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  5. cuttyshatface

    cuttyshatface Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for your answer Rob
     
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