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Justinian's news stories

The "sleek kangaroo" of Bangalow ... He thought it was romance ... She believed it was sexual harassment ... Sal Vasta gets to work on law firm principal's over-wrought advances ... $170,000 awarded to female solicitor trapped at Bangelow law shop with predatory pest ... Read more ... 

Justinian Columnists

Ming the Merciless ... Menzies: The Art of Politics ... Placing material success at the centre of things ... Vision of a bigger future goes missing ... Egon Kisch, H.V. Evatt, Petrov ... Politics of Australia and the sad state of now ... Procrustes ferments ... Read more ... 



Justinian's Bloggers

Muddied oafs ... It was 1956 and Sir William Slim was Governor General, Guy Burgess and Donald Maclean surfaced in Moscow and My Fair Lady opened on Broadway ... It was also the year that two teams of NSW solicitors and barristers squeezed into their footy gear and scrummed down ... Read more ... 

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    "Sydney is such a strange place. The only place in the world where they have so many parks. Everywhere, national parks. They are only good for snakes." 

    Harry Triguboff, the boss of Meriton, builder of cheap and ugly apartment buildings, complaining that parks are an impediment to property developers. The Wentworth Courier, May 29, 2019 ... Read more flatulence ... 

    Justinian Featurettes

    Love of the French ... Distress that Australia's great wine commentator and educator celebrated his birthday with a selection of French wines ... What's wrong with local wines for a well-deserved celebratory toast? ... Gabriel Wendler stirs up a storm in a wine glass ... Read more ... 

    Justinian's archive

    When only the victim speaks the truth ... Author Bri Lee's book Eggshell Skull scoops up another prize - this time at the Australian Book Industry Awards ... A story of childhood sexual assault ... While the book continues to collect awards, the author's view about how natural justice ought to work should be read with caution ... In 2018 we published lawyer Joanna Jenkins's review ... It's timely to reprise her concerns about the book ... Read more ... 



    « Coin from the Crown | Main | Peter Duncan »

    Rachel Francois

    Rachel Francois is a Sydney barrister, whose most recent notable appearance was in the Federal Court for Kristy Fraser-Kirk in her $37 million sexual harassment suit against David Jones and Mark McInnes ... With the settlement complete and the case withdrawn Ms Francois found time for a session on Justinian's couch
    Rachel Francois' father is an ichthyologist and a former head of NSW Fisheries, who these days makes wine in the Hunter Valley. Her mother is a mathematician.
    Rachel was selective in her schooling and attended North Sydney Girls High School and James Ruse Agricultural High School and later the University of New South Wales.
    Early steps in her career took her to volunteer work at the NSW Disability Discrimination Legal Centre, the HIV/AIDS Legal Centre and Kingsford Legal Centre. 

    After university she fetched-up in London ... and Freshfields.

    She returned soon enough, to find herself working on a review for the government of NSW's home care service.

    Then to Legal Aid for four years.

    The dark side is usually irresistible, so it was almost inevitable that she would put in a couple of years at Clayton Utz before the bar called in February 2003.

    Describe yourself in three words.
    Determined, loyal, loud.

    What are you currently reading
    "American Caesars", by Nigel Hamilton.

    What's your favourite film
    Anything with Robert Downey Jr or Meryl Streep.

    Who has been the most influential person in your life
    My maternal grandfather. Among other things he taught me how to behave in polite society, so I always have the choice. 

    What occupation would you like to have, if you hadn't become a lawyer
    When I think of it, I'll do it.

    What is your favourite piece of music
    The Jupiter suite from the Planets by Holst.

    What is your most recognised talent
    Hmmn - probably causing trouble.

    What is your greatest fear
    That DJs will spike my Christmas hamper.

    What words or phrases do you overuse?
    The ones that ought not be printed. 

    What is your greatest regret
    Not getting to my dojo regularly to practice Aikido.

    Whom do you envy and why
    I don’t envy other people but I would love to have the extraordinary talent of Chida Sensei (an 8th Dan Aikido master) – he’s like a Jedi Knight.

    What is your most disturbing personal obsession?  
    Depending on your perspective: either my desire for social justice or my abiding interest in military history.

    What’s your most glamorous feature?
    Like Katisha, my left shoulder blade.

    If you were a foodstuff, what would you be
    Lindt 70% dark chocolate.

    What human traits do you most distrust
    The desire to fit in.

    What would you change about Australia
    I would start with that part of the culture which revels in misogyny and enjoys a sense of sexual entitlement and not stop until we have community where we treat everyone as we ourselves wish to be treated.

    Whom or what do you consider overrated
    French wine (with the exception of Champagne).

    On what occasions do you use a breath-freshener
    Rarely.  I’m very good at brushing my teeth.

    What would your epitaph say
    I want to be cremated and scattered at Whale Beach - so not much (unless my mum is still alive). 

    What comes into your mind when you shut your eyes and think of the word "law"
    The enormous privilege of working with some of the most principled and compassionate members of the community.

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