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    "In the society [Hong Kong] governed by law, people were persecuted in accordance with the law." 

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    « Wine encounters in London | Main | Daniel Young »
    Tuesday
    Dec022014

    Keith Mason

    The former president of the NSW Court of Appeal is at it again ... Another sparking book on lawyers and the law ... Published in time for Christmas stockings ... Tall stories and true ... Keith Mason is venting on Justinian's couch 

    Keith Mason: ran out of options

    Keith Mason has been a solicitor, barrister, law reformer, solicitor-general, president of a court of appeal, law teacher and mediator. 

    He has published on topics including judicial method, legal taxonomy, the law of restitution, and the interface of law, morality and religion. 

    Currently he is a visiting professorial fellow at the University of New South Wales and the chancellor of the Anglican diocese of Armidale. 

    His latest book is Old Law, New Law, a miscellany of legal history, anecdotes and cases - ranging from matrimony, food, drink, death, taxes, judicial insults, courageous barristers, how judges work and sex. 

    Keith Mason has been lured onto Justinian's couch ... 

    Describe yourself in three words.

    Calm, reflective, verbose. 

    What are you currently reading? 

    Robert Caro's biography of Lyndon Johnson. 

    What's your favourite film?

    Sunday Bloody Sunday. 

    Who has been the most influential person in your life, and why? 

    The Rev Ronald Walker, Bret Walker's father. He was a second father to me. 

    What is your favourite piece of music?

    Mendelssohn's Italian Symphony. 

    What is in your refrigerator? 

    Food bought by my wife and daughter. 

    What is your favourite website?

    Qantas international bookings. 

    What do you recommend as a hangover cure?

    A ticking off from my wife. 

    What is your greatest weakness?

    Laziness about physical fitness.

    What words or phrases do you overuse? 

    [Silence.] 

    Why did you want to be a lawyer? 

    I ran out of other options.

    What other occupation would you have liked to pursue? 

    To have been a librarian. 

    If you were on death row, what would be your request for your last meal? 

    Freshly shelled prawns on a bread roll. 

    From where do you draw inspiration and material for your miscellanies of history and law? 

    Weekly walks with my friend Leslie Katz over many years and a love of modern legal history and biographies. 

    What did you find the most disagreeable aspect of being a judge? 

    Trying to make everyone happy when organising formal dinners for NSW Court of Appeal. 

    If you were a foodstuff, what would you be? 

    A cold sav blanc that encourages goodwill and good conversation.

    What human quality do you most distrust? 

    Authoritarian fundamentalism. 

    What would you change about Australia? 

    The undue influence of mining companies and shock jocks. 

    Whom or what do you consider overrated? 

    Patriotism, which blinds us to the equality of all before God.

    What would your epitaph say? 

    "A fortunate man in a lucky country." 

    What comes into your mind when you shut your eyes and think of the word "law"? 

    Far too costly.

    Old Law, New Law in published by The Federation Press. RRP: $59.95

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