Category Archives: Law

Spare Saddam?

In August, Michael Fullilove wrote a Lowy Institute report, arguing that Australia would be a far more effective advocate of death penalty abolition if we brought some consistency to our international pleas – arguing for accused persons to be spared … Continue reading

Posted in Australian Politics, Law | 37 Comments

A tale of two religion clauses

My wife, an American, was gobsmacked when I read out the story from today’s paper that the Australian government is spending $90 million to put chaplains in schools. To most Americans, the idea that the government would use public funds to … Continue reading

Posted in Law | 21 Comments

Sydney to NYU in 8 hours

Just to make sure that the grass doesn’t grow under his feet, 34-year old Melbourne lad Simon Chesterman is taking up the position of director of the New York University School of Law’s Singapore Programme. Since it’ll grant full NYU … Continue reading

Posted in Law, Universities | 3 Comments

Freedom of association

Ron Hicks in the Australian has an article on Tasmania’s system of selecting judges’ associates, which will require the use of a selection committee. This sounds overly bureaucratic to me, but it’s an attempt to deal with the current clubbish … Continue reading

Posted in Law | 2 Comments

Vice & Virtue

I’ve been asked to review a book on tax minimisation, by ANU’s John Braithwaite. A draft of my review is over the fold. Comments and suggestions most welcome (the final version is due in a week).

Posted in Law, Tax | 4 Comments

Televisions, Toasters and Tabloids

Showing that Laura Norder still runs criminal justice policy, NSW Premier Morris Iemma today caved into a story in the Daily Tele by taking away Ivan Milat’s toasted sandwich maker and television. So far, the debate has been about whether … Continue reading

Posted in Law | 4 Comments

Innocence Lost

In the NYT, Houston lawyer David Dow powerfully makes the point that the “he might be innocent” argument is one of the weaker reasons for opposing the death penalty, and abolitionists ought to place less weight on it than they currently … Continue reading

Posted in Law | 2 Comments

Judged Equal

Nice to see the ultra-cautious Judicial Conference of Australia today coming out in favour of equalising pension arrangements for same-sex judges. I’m guessing that this type of discrimination will seem as odd to the next generation as miscegenation laws do to … Continue reading

Posted in Law

From Magic Water to Magic Dirt

After some appalling media coverage of John Marsden’s funeral and Justice Michael Kirby’s decision to deliver a eulogy, it’s good to see Mike Carlton today sounding a rather more balanced note. I was pleased to see that he didn’t spare … Continue reading

Posted in Law | 2 Comments

Oldest profession boosts earnings of second-oldest profession

Who would’ve thought that Merrick & Rosso would be the next ones to test the boundaries of the implied freedom of political communication in the Australian Constitution?

Posted in Australian Politics, Law, Media | 3 Comments

Drawn, hung, and quartered

The Archibald Prize for portrait painting is in the courts again. In 1943, William Dobell’s win was challenged in the basis that it was a caricature, not a portrait. Now, Craig Ruddy, the 2004 winner, is being challenged on the basis that his … Continue reading

Posted in Law | 5 Comments

This book would not have been possible without the assistance of [your name here]

Griffith University’s Dr AJ Brown is writing a biography of my old boss, Justice Michael Kirby. AJ is hiring a Canberra-based research assistant for 12 months, starting ASAP. More details here.

Posted in Law

Wrongful births and judicial debuts

One of the strange traditions on the High Court is the debut judgment, in which every new Justice gets a case on which they will write. Then instead of joining the judgment, their bretheren write a one liner: “I concur … Continue reading

Posted in Law | 7 Comments