A VERY GOOD START

The late great Nelson Mandela served 27 years in prison for his opposition to the apartheid system of racial segregation in South Africa. When he was finally released from custody in 1990, he famously said "To deny a person their human rights is to challenge their very humanity." Such sentiments are sometimes cynically discounted as [...]

November 16th, 2018|Human Rights, Politics|

IN THE COMPANY OF HEROES

On 11 November 1918, at the French town of Compiegne, high-ranking officers of the Entente, the coalition that opposed the Central Powers of Germany, Austro-Hungary, the Ottoman Empire and Bulgaria during World War 1, signed an armistice with Germany, ceasing all hostilities on the Western Front. At eleven o’clock on that morning - the eleventh [...]

November 9th, 2018|International, Opinion, Politics|

STORMY CLOUDS

Anyone who has been following US domestic politics over the past 12 months will be aware of the fascinating legal storm clouds brewing over the Leader of the Free World, one Mr Donald J Trump. Since May 2017 the stoic and uncompromising former Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Mr Robert Mueller, has led [...]

April 27th, 2018|Dispute Resolution, International, Litigation, Politics|

THE BEST AND WORST

The 19th century French novelist Gustave Flaubert was a stickler for style. His scrupulous devotion to literary aesthetics and painstaking attention to detail meant every word of his prose was meticulously selected and perfectly positioned. Lamenting the state of the literary and social discourse of his times, Flaubert once complained to fellow writer Ivan Turgenev [...]

April 20th, 2018|Opinion, Politics, Technology|

AN UNCOMMON COMMODITY

Without doubt, self-preservation is the most powerful and compelling of all human instincts. The will to survive - physically, emotionally, financially – is acute and compelling, inextricably ingrained in our human condition. In his 2007 book Courage: Eight Portraits, former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown used the stories of eight outstanding figures of the 20th [...]

March 14th, 2018|Commissions of Inquiry, Criminal Law, Politics|

THE MAN IN THE ARENA

When I first started doing trial work as a young lawyer I was constantly surprised and intrigued by the persistent inconsistency between different eyewitness accounts of the exact same incident. Particularly when dealing with a violent or otherwise shocking event, such as a car crash or a brutal street brawl, no two witnesses seemed to [...]

November 3rd, 2017|International, Opinion, Politics|

THE GREAT DISSENTER

“I am the result of a loving upbringing in a peaceful country, with wonderful parents and siblings, a very long-term relationship, stability, support – but a feeling that life isn't always just and that there is injustice for people and we should do something about it.” That is a quote from the eminent Australian jurist [...]

September 29th, 2017|Human Rights, Opinion, Politics|

THE RULE OF LAW

In a time of increasingly vigorous criticism of some of our court processes, many were taken aback when Victoria’s Supreme Court recently hit back at its detractors, carpeting three politicians, a journalist and a newspaper editor, over public statements criticising the sentencing of terror offenders. A couple of months ago three ministers of the Turnbull [...]

August 18th, 2017|Commissions of Inquiry, Criminal Law, Litigation, Politics|

PAROLE ON TRIAL

The Prime Minister’s call for an overhaul of state parole laws in the wake of this week's terrorist attack in Melbourne has the sniff of political scapegoating. On Monday afternoon 29-year-old Somalian-born Islamic extremist Yacqib Khayre, following a terrorism blueprint published online in the ISIS magazine Ruyimah, posed as a client to call out a [...]

June 9th, 2017|Criminal Law, Opinion, Politics|

FIXATED FOLK

This week I learned something kind of crazy that I never knew before.A gentleman came to my office complaining that five police officers had recently materialised at his front door, without warning or invitation, wanting to conduct a psychiatric assessment on him. It all sounded more than a little bit bizarre to me but, since [...]

May 26th, 2017|Criminal Law, Human Rights, Opinion, Politics|