TEN GUILTY WITCHES

In February 1692, in a secluded village in the isolated British American colony of Massachusetts, 9-year-old Betty Parris and her 11-year-old cousin Abigail Williams, began to behave very strangely indeed. It seems they had recently taken to screaming, ranting and raving, throwing objects hither and thither, making weird noises, and generally behaving in a way [...]

October 4th, 2019|Criminal Law, International, Opinion, Politics|

OLD SCHOOL INJUSTICE

A generation ago, corporal punishment at school was commonplace. Canings and strappings that would now turn school mums like me apoplectic were once considered a routine and acceptable means of enforcing discipline and taming the unruly child. But seriously violent behaviour – way beyond regimental canings and strappings -  such as beating young children with closed [...]

March 1st, 2019|Criminal Law, Litigation, Politics|

POLITICS, SEX AND RELIGION

It’s often said one should never discuss politics, sex or religion at a dinner party. The latest news out of the Wonderful World of the Public Service certainly seems to attest to the wisdom of that simple sentiment. In 2012, Ms Michaela Banerji, who was then a public servant in the employ of the Department [...]

February 19th, 2019|Dispute Resolution, Litigation, Politics|

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|