Law

The street entrance to the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court is a scoop-hungry gauntlet of journos who spend the day jostling for soundbites, ever ready to give chase. As a rookie reporter, Louise Milligan used to be part of the Sydney court scrum, but when she arrived to give evidence in Australia’s ‘Trial of the Decade’, she had become the story. In her investigative work for ABC’s Four Corners – which begat the Walkley Book Award-winning volume Cardinal: The rise and fall of George Pell (2017)Milligan had been the first person to hear one of the criminal accusations against the Vatican’s disgraced treasurer

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The timing was apt. In September, Fake Law: The truth about justice in an age of lies – written by pseudonymous British writer ‘The Secret Barrister’ – was published in Australia. The same month, President Donald Trump nominated Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court of the United States following the untimely death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. From two legal systems that have historically influenced ours came salutary warnings about the ill effects of law’s politicisation.

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There is a senior partner at my firm who famously harasses young women particularly when he has been drinking at social events. I was groped on two separate occasions. Nothing was done about it the first time I reported it. I did not report it the second time.

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Michael Sexton reviews 'Stern Justice' by Adam Wakeling

Michael Sexton
Tuesday, 27 November 2018

Justice or vengeance? This is always the question raised by war crimes trials, although it might be noted that they are a relatively recent historical phenomenon. Some were proposed at the end of the Great War but never eventuated. The original and best known is, of course, Nuremberg at the end of World War II ...

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Although a subject of endless fascination in the hermetic world of the legal profession, the judiciary seldom excites the interest of the broader public. Despite the efforts of senior judges to promote understanding of the legal system, the community seems largely content simply to trust that the machinery of justice is working ...

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Watching Out belongs to a rare class of book. Written by a lawyer, concerned largely with law, and touching upon such legal esoterica as interim injunctions, it defies all odds in still being eminently accessible to a lay audience. It has, predictably, set off a frisson of excitement in legal Australia, where each new Burnside title ...

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Australia’s national identity is as complex as the people who make up the nation and the historical forces by which it was made. Our Indigenous peoples, whose unique histories precede the nation’s by more than fifty thousand years, are central to that identity ...

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Although easy to miss amid the commotion of Brexit, Britain’s Human Rights Act (1998) is locked in a fight for its life. Besieged by a hostile press and beholden to a government that has pledged its repeal and replacement, its days are almost certainly numbered. It is against this fraught backdrop that Conor Gearty’s On Fantasy Island: Britain, Euro ...

With a few notable exceptions (Michael Kirby springs to mind), judges in Australia do not have a high public profile. Many non-lawyers would struggle to name a judge currently ...

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Philippe Sands, a barrister and Professor of International Law at University College London, brings together in this multi-faceted book the perpetrators of the worst crime yet devised by man ...

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