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Grant Bailey

Grant Bailey is a Sydney-based reviewer.

Grant Bailey reviews ‘Peace, Order and Good Government: State Constitutional and Parliamentary Reform’ Edited by Clement Macintyre and John Williams

November 2003, no. 256 01 November 2003
Speaking in the context of the Quebec secessionist movement, Stéphane Dion described Canada as ‘a country that works in practice but not in theory’. Whilst particularly telling of that country’s political turmoil, Dion’s summary also points to an abiding tension in all Western democracies: the perceived gulf between the theory and the practice of modern government. Constitution and parlia ... (read more)

Grant Bailey reviews ‘Litigation: Past and present’ edited by Wilfrid Prest and Sharyn Roach Anleu and ‘Slapping on the Writs: Defamation, developers and community activism’ by Brian Walters

May 2004, no. 261 01 May 2004
One could be forgiven for thinking that Australia is suffering a litigation explosion. Newspapers have been full of reports of supposedly undeserving plaintiffs receiving million-dollar damages awards; governments have introduced legislation to limit pay-outs; local authorities and volunteer organisations have cancelled events due to concerns over public liability; and insurers have blamed rising ... (read more)

Grant Bailey reviews ‘Socialist Champion: Portrait of the gentleman as crusader’ by John Barnes

June-July 2006, no. 282 01 June 2006
Besides being a bookseller, publisher and literary agent, Henry Hyde Champion (1859–1929) – the subject of this fascinating biography – was also, at various stages, an army officer, a journalist, and a socialist organiser. Born in England to a wealthy family with aristocratic roots, Champion turned his back on a conventional upper-class life after witnessing the appalling poverty of London ... (read more)

Grant Bailey reviews 'The Premiers of New South Wales Volume 1: 1856-1901' and 'The Premiers of New South Wales Volume 2: 1901-2005' edited by David Clune and Ken Turner

September 2006, no. 284 01 September 2006
The problem with many ‘big occasion’ publications is that they are written for the occasion rather than for an audience. This collection – the first reference work to cover all the premiers of New South Wales from 1856 until July 2005 – has been published to coincide with the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of responsible government in New South Wales. Happily, however, The Premiers o ... (read more)

Grant Bailey reviews 'Rough Justice: Unanswered questions from the Australian courts' by Robin Bowles

March 2008, no. 299 01 March 2008
This review of some contentious criminal cases in Australia over the last thirty years purports to demonstrate how the processes of the criminal law may, if mishandled, produce an unsafe conviction. The author has made her own investigations into most of the cases. She outlines her own discoveries and compares these to the findings of the police and the courts. Unfortunately, these private enquir ... (read more)

Grant Bailey reviews 'Behind the News: A Biography of Peter Russo' edited by Prue Torney-Parlicki

May 2006, no. 281 01 May 2006
Many older readers of ABR would remember Peter Russo – whether fondly or otherwise – for his newspaper columns (principally in the Melbourne Argus) from 1941, and for his ABC radio broadcasts, which continued until his death in 1985. As for younger readers: picture a journalist–commentator (his career defied easy description) who was as controversial in his day as any of our present ‘shock ... (read more)

Grant Bailey reviews 'Adventures in Law and Justice' by Brian Horrigan

March 2004, no. 259 01 March 2004
It is comforting to think that the foundations of the legal system are sound. Perhaps this explains why there are so many common myths about the law, such as the notion that every legal problem has a ready solution, or that the law is essentially objective and value-neutral. As students, litigants, witnesses and others who have suddenly become more familiar with the system of justice can attest, ... (read more)

Grant Bailey reviews 'Inside Spin: The Dark underbelly of the PR industry' by Bob Burton

November 2007, no. 296 01 November 2007
Bob Burton is not one to pull punches: early in Inside Spin he describes the public relations (PR) industry as one dominated by a ‘culture of secrecy’ with its practitioners operating ‘on the basis that they are most successful when they are nowhere to be seen’. That the industry is largely unregulated adds to the sense of unease that many Australians feel about its activities. Perhaps mo ... (read more)

Grant Bailey reviews 'The End of Innocence' by Estelle Blackburn

September 2007, no. 294 01 September 2007
From September 1958 until his capture in August 1963, Eric Edgar Cooke conducted a terrifying campaign of violent crime in greater Perth which left eight people dead and several others permanently injured. The damage did not stop with Cooke’s arrest. A young labourer, John Button, had previously been convicted of one of Cooke’s murders: the hit-and-run killing of Button’s girlfriend., Rosema ... (read more)