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Peter Heerey

Peter Heerey

Peter Heerey AM QC was a judge of the Federal Court of Australia from 1990 to 2009. He has published papers in Australian and overseas professional and academic journals in the areas of corporations law, defamation, expert evidence, intellectual property, law and literature, and Federation history.

Peter Heerey reviews 'Tom Hughes QC: A cab on the rank' by Ian Hancock

August 2016, no. 383 25 July 2016
The subtitle of this compellingly readable biography of Thomas Eyre Forrest Hughes AO QC borrows the underlying philosophical metaphor of the independent Bar. A barrister is available for hire by those who will pay the fee, irrespective of personal, political, social, or other co-incidence with the client, or approval or disapproval of his or her cause. As Dr Johnson explained to Boswell: ... (read more)

Peter Heerey reviews 'The Churchill Factor' by Boris Johnson

December 2015, no. 377 30 November 2015
Had it not been for the leadership of Winston Churchill in 1940, Nazi Germany would in all probability have won World War II. The most enthusiastic revisionist historian would grudgingly accept this proposition. As this highly readable account by London Mayor Boris Johnson shows, 1940 was the high point of a career that extended from the 1890s to the 1960s. In politics Churchill was twice prime m ... (read more)

Peter Heerey reviews 'Old Law, New Law' by Keith Mason

August 2015, no. 373 31 July 2015
The practice of the law is about stories. The stories the parties tell to the judge, the story the judge tells back or, if you like, the judge’s review of the parties’ stories. Along the way there can be much that is frankly boring to onlookers, or indeed the parties themselves, but also drama, pathos, and humour, both intentional and the opposite. And past cases can give us revealing glimpses ... (read more)

Peter Heerey reviews 'An Officer and a Spy' by Robert Harris

June–July 2014, no. 362 12 May 2014
Some of the wildly successful historical novels of Robert Harris are counter-factual, like Fatherland (1992), which assumes a successful Nazi invasion of Britain. By contrast, his most recent work, An Officer and a Spy (2013), builds on a highly detailed account of the Dreyfus affair, which convulsed France in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Captain Alfred Dreyfus, a Jewish off ... (read more)

Peter Heerey reviews 'The Years of Lyndon Johnson: The passage of power' by Robert A. Caro

November 2012, no. 346 25 October 2012
In Australia today, Lyndon Baines Johnson (1908–73) seems a fleeting figure on history’s stage: a brief interlude between Kennedy’s Camelot and Nixon’s Watergate – ‘All the way with LBJ!’ – the retreat from quagmire Vietnam – and that’s about it. So how does one justify buying and reading Robert A. Caro’s seven hundred-page book (dubbed ‘bloated’ by one critic), the fourt ... (read more)