Dowling’s Select Cases, 1828 To 1844
Frances Forbes Society for Australian Legal History, $100 hb, 1035 pp
The prodigious effort that went into the compilation of Dowling’s Select Cases was entirely consistent with his own approach to judicial office, including producing the copious writings that found their way into the book. As Dr Bennett put it in his biography of James Dowling (2001), industry and perseverance were the hallmarks of Dowling’s accomplishments. To produce the chronicle now published, the editors and their helpers followed Dowling’s notes through his nine volumes of cases, cross-referencing many to his 268 judicial notebooks. The cases were recorded by Dowling by hand and required considerable typing. They are arranged chronologically and according to subject matter. The book will not be a threat to Harry Potter but will endure as of considerable interest to lawyers and historians.