Three Sydney Judges (Paperback)

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Description


This book sketches the lives of three Justices of the High Court of Australia, the nation's supreme court. Albert Bathurst Piddington, George Rich, and Adrian Knox are part of Sydney's history. They also inform our present.Rich was a nineteenth century liberal, instrumental in the establishment of the Women's College in the University of Sydney. His long tenure on the Court was marked by scrupulous courtesy at a time when the bench was deeply divided. But for all his brilliance, his narrow outlook, a personal tragedy and, later, senescence, yielded a contribution far less than it might have been. By the end of his tenure, it was well-known that other judges including the great Chief Justice Sir Owen Dixon often ghosted his judgments. Knox was a scion of one of Australia's most powerful families. A gambler, a Tory and easily the first advocate of his day, he continues to be acknowledged as a great administrator of Australian racing. Under his leadership Sydney's Randwick racecourse was practically rebuilt and the totalisator was introduced, an innovation which soon spread to all other major race clubs across the country.The volcanic and erratic Piddington was the least judicial and least judicious of the three. For all that, he deserves the accolade of HV Evatt, Dixon's rival and one of the founders of the United Nations, who wrote of him that in 'a long and distinguished public career he] was destined to carry the flag of liberalism and social reform'. When Montesquieu looked at eighteenth-century England, he saw state power comprised of a legislature, an executive, and a judicature. This trident inspired America's founding fathers, but also limited their imagination. In the words of one Australian judge, Australia's founding fathers counted to four, imagining an independent economic regulator comprising a fourth arm of national government. They provided for this fourth arm in the Australian Constitution and called it the Inter-State Commission. As the COVID-19 tragedy unfolds and Australia's institutions look for tools to rebuild the nation, it may be time to re-explore the dreams and intentions of Australia's founding fathers and the structure of our Constitution. This book discusses the Inter-State Commission's delayed birth, its brief life under Piddington's leadership, and its untimely death.
Product Details
ISBN: 9798640336573
Publisher: Independently Published
Publication Date: April 26th, 2020
Pages: 228
Language: English