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How to win friends and become a judge ... All in the family ... Great speech at the Free Willy show ... Judicial appointment in the mail ... Temple of Federal Justice on hold ... ALRC family law recommendations and their political implications ... A letter from Perth ... Read more ... 

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Rush: a parallel universe ... A gaping hole in the Rush defamation case ... Evidence available to support the truth defence about "scandalously inappropriate behaviour" ... Judge decides witness should not called ... Tendency evidence ... Case management more important than the truth ... Read more ... 



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Dutton's dob-in law ... Peach Melba gets her head around the government's secrecy certificates ... Visa applicants not supposed to know what the government knows ... Procedural fairness ... Secret evidence ... Public interest ... AAT ... Read more ... 

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    "The worst hate speech I've heard recently is Richard Di Natale ... He's incited violence against the likes of Andrew Bolt and Milo Yiannopoulos. I class him as an entertainer, why everyone takes him seriously ..." 

    Teena McQueen, federal vice-president of the Liberal Party. Q&A, ABC TV, March 25, 2019 ... Read more flatulence ... 

    Justinian Featurettes

    Melissa Davey is the ace reporter from The Guardian who covered the Pell trial from beginning to end ... Compassionate, driven and intense ... Book under steam ... Journalism and the meaning of life ... A questing spirit is On The Couch ... Read more ... 

    Justinian's archive

    Heart of the bar ... News from the Street of Shame ... Deutschland marshalling forces ... The Sevens rub tummies ... Eating and talking ... Interviews with Queens' Counsel ... Advocacy skills require being in many courts at once ... From Justinian's archive, September 2014 ... Read more ... 



    « Wine encounters in London | Main | Daniel Young »

    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? 


    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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