What are extrinsic materials and how are they used when interpreting legislation. Both intrinsic and extrinsic materials may be employed when interpreting legislation. Intrinsic materials are those materials within the statute itself , whereas extrinsic materials are those used when interpreting or applying the statute. These include reports of parliamentary debates, executive documents, commission and committee reports and international agreements referred to or relating to the legislation . Carvan notes that there are three important observations to be made, they are as follows; 1.
The court is not limited to the list of extrinsic materials set out in s 15AB 2.
The use of extrinsic materials is to confirm the meaning of words used in their ordinary sense, to resolve ambiguities and to promote the purpose of the legislation, 3.
Subsection 3 cautions the judges to use extrinsic materials with care. The materials should be used to protect the interests of consistency and to avoid unnecessary legal proceedings. With regard to extrinsic materials, s 15AB identifies
(1) Subject to subsection (3) in the interpretation of a provision of an Act, if any material not forming part of the Act is capable of assisting in the ascertainment of the provision, consideration may be given to that material: (a) to confirm that the meaning of the provision is the ordinary meaning conveyed by the text of the provision taking into account its context in the Act and the purpose or object underlying the Act; or (b) to determine the meaning of the provision when:
the provision is ambiguous or obscure; or
the ordinary meaning conveyed by the text of the provision taking into account its context in the Act and the purpose or object underlying the Act leads to a result that is manifestly absurd or it is unreasonable' . That is, under s 15AB of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901 (Cth) material outside the Act may be used to confirm the ordinary meaning of a provision, such...
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