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Innovations in fee collection ... Barrister lightly spanked for sending disturbing fee threat to former clients ... "See what happens if you don't pay your bills" ... File leverage ... Agreement not to complain in exchange for the file ... NCAT bares its gums ... Read more ... 

Justinian Columnists

Do nothing in the new utopia ... Policy vacuums ... Private sector leaders are filling voids created by sleepwalking politicians ... Voice to parliament and global warming left in the cold - which, somehow, gets us to the casualisation of the workforce, particularly at universities ... Fly-in, fly-out law school lecturers ... Full Federal Court wrestles with a "casual employee" ... Read more ... 

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Justinian's Bloggers

Time to act on Magnitsky ... Where's our Magnitsky Act? ... An effective way of dealing with corrupt individuals who violate human rights ... Lapsed Bill in the Commonwealth parliament ... The legacy of Russia's abuse of power and the calculated killing of state enemies ... Read more ... 

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    "I am really and truly pleased that I have been vindicated and that the court has preserved the presumption of innocence."   

    Tom Domican, "colourful" Sydney identity, who provided security services to a Kings Cross drug dealer, after settling for $100,000 his defamation case against nightclub entrepreneur John Ibrahim and Pan Macmillan. September 13, 2019 ... Read more flatulence ... 

    Justinian Featurettes

    David Hunt remembered ... Former NSW defamation judge and chief judge at common law ...The List with Socratic case management ... Defamation exotica ... Refinement of pleadings, perhaps over-refinement ... Prodigious worker ... International criminal law ... Tributes from Graham Hryce, David Rolph, Justice Mark Ierace and Judge Judith Gibson ... Read more ... 

    Justinian's archive

    Sentencing terror ... Fabulous sentencing transcript from County Court, Victoria ... Judge James Montgomery and counsel wrestle with the dates and the years ... Pythonesque proceedings ... Court reporter struggles to keep up ... Tears to the eyes ... From the archive, June 2012 ... Read more ... 



    « MyJudge | Main | A Journey »

    Albie Sachs

    This month Albie Sachs has been singing for his supper ... The former constitutional judge from South Africa has been on a lecture tour of Australia ... Law firm boardrooms and village halls have been packed with enthusiastic admirers ... Meet the lawyer that prison and a crippling bomb attack couldn't silence  

    Sachs: a talent for empathisingAlbie Sachs retired a year ago as a judge of the Constitutional Court of South Africa. 

    He was appointed to the court by President Nelson Mandela in 1994. 

    He started as a barrister at the Cape Town bar when he was 21, but ultimately his anti-apartheid activities landed him in prison.

    After he was released he lived in England and Mozambique, where he lost an arm and the sight of one eye after his car was bombed by South African security agents. 

    He returned to South Africa where he worked on the preparation of the new Constitution as a member of the constitutional committee and national executive of the African National Congress.

    He wrote the Constitutional Court's famous 2005 decision in Minister of Home Affairs v Fourie, which declared a constitutional right to same sex marriage. 

    His most recent book, The Strange Alchemy of Life and Law, was published last year. 

    This month he has been on an extensive tour of Australia, talking about constitutional developments in post-apartheid South Africa, human rights and history. 

    Into his on-the-run speaking schedule he squeezed in a reflective session on Justinian's couch.  

    Describe yourself in three words.
    A nice guy.

    What are you currently reading?
    "The Whisperer" by Donato Caprisi.

    What's your favourite film?
    "The Wizard of Oz."

    Who has been the most influential person in your life?
    Oliver Tambo, ANC leader, a soft person in a hard struggle.

    What occupation would you like to have, if you hadn't become a lawyer and a judge?
    Film maker.

    What is your favourite piece of music?
    Schubert's Great String Quintet, slow movement.
    What is your most recognised talent?
    What is your greatest fear?
    Letting go and falling into a void.

    What words or phrases do you overuse?
    "I" and "My".

    What is your greatest regret?
    I have been unkind to women.

    Whom do you envy and why?
    My wife Vanessa, for her instant warmth, spontaneous intelligence and unbidden courage.

    What has been your most significant judicial achievement?
    Finding the poetry that illuminates intelligence at the heart of the judicial function.
    What would you change about South Africa?
    I would move Johannesburg to the sea.
    What's your most glamorous feature?
    My vaulting humility.

    If you were a foodstuff, what would you be?
    Intensely flavoured marzipan wrapped in a thin layer of dark chocolate.

    What human traits do you most distrust?
    Vaulting ambition.

    Whom or what do you consider overrated?
    On what occasions do you use a breath-freshener?
    When sitting close to a typist or dinner companion and even when standing far from someone special.

    What would your epitaph say?
    He was a good guy.

    What comes into your mind when you shut your eyes and think of the word "law"?
    A spiderweb. Add the word "justice" and the web becomes a flower.

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