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Tangible results

Reflections of a literary jurist
by
September 2022, no. 446

Bench and Book by Nicholas Hasluck

Arcadia, $44 pb, 348 pp

Tangible results

Reflections of a literary jurist
by
September 2022, no. 446

Nicholas Hasluck is that relatively rare combination of practising lawyer and accomplished writer. A former judge of the Supreme Court of Western Australia, he has also produced more than a dozen novels and as many works of non-fiction. This duality of roles is not unknown. Two contemporary examples that come to mind are Jonathan Sumption, who was on the UK Supreme Court and is a medieval historian, and Scott Turow, a Chicago attorney whose works include the trial novel Presumed Innocent (1988). It is, however, still unusual, both in Australia and elsewhere. As Hasluck himself points out, there is little respect in the legal profession for those few members who have an interest in literature:

It has always struck me as an endearing trait of those who work within the legal system that if a chap works five days a week at the law, and spends his weekends playing golf or yachting, he is thought to be treating the law with the respect it deserves. On the other hand, if a fellow works five days a week at the law and then goes home and writes novels about truth and justice, he is often thought to be somehow, well, rather … frivolous.

Michael Sexton reviews 'Bench and Book' by Nicholas Hasluck

Bench and Book

by Nicholas Hasluck

Arcadia, $44 pb, 348 pp

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