Ben Saul reviews 'In the Company of Cowards' by Michael Mori

Ben Saul
25 March 2015

The unusual case of David Hicks is one of the most spectacular and politically supercharged miscarriages of justice in Australian history. Like the infamous Boer War case of Breaker Morant, Hicks was politically scapegoated and grossly denied a fair trial. Unlike Morant – a war criminal who murdered prisoners of war – even Hicks’s accuser, the United States, n ... More

David Harper reviews 'Murray Gleeson' by Michael Pelly

David Harper
17 December 2014

Although a few can pull it off, most judges have the good sense not to attempt an autobiography. Judges’ personalities are not usually of such outstanding interest, andtheir lives generally do not so engage with the world, as to generate the stuff from which autobiographies worth publishing are made. The reserve which thejudicial experience inculcates, and the gen ... More

Colin Golvan reviews 'Excursions in the Law' by Peter Heerey

Colin Golvan
26 November 2014

What’s on a judge’s mind? Litigants and advocates would love to know. Former judge Peter Heerey answers that question in his latest book, a compendium of writing over many years, covering a vast array of topics and in myriad forms.

Heerey displays his abiding affection for his Tasmanian roots with an essay on the Tasmanian member of the group of authors ... More

Peter Rose reviews 'Joe Cinque's Consolation' by Helen Garner

Peter Rose
02 October 2014

Already, Anu Singh’s story is grimly familiar. Now free again, just thirty-one, she has entered the popular pantheon of malefactors. Her attractive face appears in the newspapers, taut with self-justification. There is talk of a documentary. Notoriety, even a kind of celebrity – that amoral nirvana – is hers.

If Singh’s deepest motivation f ... More

The missing Somali on the dance floor

Ray Cassin
27 May 2014

Sometimes the simplest of mistakes reveals far more of our preconceptions about human acts and motives, and about the complex relationships that make a human society, than we could have imagined. Such was the case with what journalist and lawyer Julie Szego dubs the ‘tainted trial’ of Farah Jama, a young Somali man who spent eighteen months in prison for a rape ... More

Paul Morgan reviews 'Stephen Ward Was Innocent, OK' by Geoffrey Robertson

Paul Morgan
08 April 2014

Who was Stephen Ward? And why does his fate matter today? The Profumo affair, with its mixture of sex, politics, aristocracy, and espionage, has become the archetypal scandal. In 1962, Jac More

Terry Lane reviews 'Liberty: A History of Civil Liberties in Australia' by James Waghorne and Stuart Macintyre

Terry Lane
25 October 2011

In 1988 the Hawke government put a constitutional amendment to a referendum. On the recommendation of the government’s Constitution Commission, we were invited to vote to enshrine guarantees of trial by jury, property rights, and freedom of religion. The proposition was rejected by all states. There is nothing surprising in that. We almost always do vote against c ... More

A.J. Brown: Michael Kirby

Julian Burnside
27 September 2011

A remarkable man in the realm of mortals

Julian Burnside


Michael Kirby: Paradoxes, Principles
by A.J. Brown
Federation Press, $59.95 hb, 528 pp, 9781862876507


There are only seven High Court judges. Since Federation there have been just fifty-six o ... More

Paul D. Halliday: Habeas Corpus

Michael Kirby
24 March 2011

The vigilance of persistent judges

Michael Kirby


Habeas Corpus: From England to Empire
by Paul D. Halliday
Harvard University Press (Inbooks), $54.95 hb, 511 pp, 9780674049017


In the days when every Australian law student studied legal history, one ... More

Pamela Burton: From Moree to Mabo

John Bryson
23 March 2011

Australia’s feisty first female High Court judge

John Bryson


From Moree to Mabo: The Mary Gaudron Story
by Pamela Burton
UWA Publishing, $49.95 pb, 511 pp, 9781742580982


H.V. Evatt, on the hustings during an election campaign, was asked by an eig ... More

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