"Yes, the risks are awful. I think we are fighting a really, really serious war, but it's really important that you understand the risks, that fighting in any improper manner is terribly frightening, and it's a huge, huge problem."
War apologist William Shawcross's justification of torture. The Australian Financial Review, December 28, 2012
"One of the slightly dismaying things about the contemporary political debate is that vast swathes of the media, particularly the press gallery, report what the government says, rather than what the facts are."
Opposition Leader Tony Abbott. The Australian Financial Review, December 22, 2012
GEOFFREY WATSON SC: "Didn't you think when you were reading the front page of The Sydney Morning Herald to say, 'Hey, it says here that I paid $7.5 million to the Obeid family, what was that about'?"
AMANDA POOLE: "I did ask that and my husband said: 'We absolutely, or you absolutely, did not'."
Questions as to how a bank account of the wife of Cascade Coal shareholder and director Richard Poole was used to secretly channel money to the Obeids. ICAC, December 12, 2012
"Ian Rankin told me last weekend that he didn't watch a single episode of either Rebus series, which makes my deliberate avoidance of Media Watch since I left it seem less eccentric."
Stuart Littlemore QC declining an invitation to give his opinion on Media Watch's 2012 season. The Australian, November 26, 2012
"I object to the use of the word 'Obeid family'."
Stuart Littlemore QC for Eddie Obeid. ICAC hearing, November 27, 2012
"I think the answer is, I was a bit insouciant. While my conduct certainly did not stray into illegality, as my ancestors would say, I was in the boldness of my muse giving hostages to providence and it did cause me great inconvenience."
Lord Conrad Black of Crossharbour, who was convicted and jailed for corporate fraud, when asked what aspects of his behaviour he regretted. Financial Times, November 10, 2012
"Of course, I'll be f---ing vindicated. I have been looked inside out with a microscope up my arse and everything is clean as far as I'm concerned."
Former Labor fixer and MP Eddie Obeid on the ICAC inquiry into allegations of corruption. The Sydney Morning Herald, November 12, 2012
"His bevaviour was disturbing. The manner of his investigation caused many parents great concern."
"Barrister" Caroline Ravenscroft, mother of a St John's College boy, on rector Michael Bongers and his attempts to discipline students for abusive and bullying behaviour. The Sydney Morning Herald, November 9, 2012
"Our client has never used other people's money or his own money to pay people for sex with him. Anyone who says the opposite will be sued."
Solicitor for Craig Thomson MP, Chris McArdle. The Sydney Morning Herald, October 31, 2012
"Let me tell you something, I am proud of having gone through the terribly difficult process of being falsely charged, falsely convicted and ultimately almost completely vindicated without losing my mind, becoming irrational, ceasing to be a penitent and reasonable person and actually being able to endure a discussion like this without getting up and smashing your face in."
Convicted fraudster Conrad Black (Lord Black of Crossharbour) to the BBC interviewer Jeremy Paxman, October 22, 2012
"There is a palpable yearing for an end to the idiotics; for someone sane, broad, reasoned, purposeful, decent and wise. In short, a leader with a sense of goodness.
Enter the Turnbulls, Malcolm and Lucy both. For if I am right about them (and I'd like to be) they could be our Clintons. Or maybe our Kennedys."
Columnist Elizabeth Farrelly. The Sydney Morning Herald, October 17, 2012
"I want to mix with other conservatives."
NSW attorney general Greg Smith on why he would be attending a dinner at which Senator Cory Bernardi was billed as the guest of honour. The Sydney Morning Herald, October 11, 2012
"This is not a case about money."
PR man for James Ashby, who is suing Peter Slipper MP in the Federal Court. The Sydney Morning Herald, October 4, 2012
"He takes a sip of the Chestnut Hill nebbiolo from Mount Burnett in Gippsland. The grape variety is new to him.
'It's not so acidic. I'm getting sick of pinot. I find it quite acidic'."
Stuart Littlemore, interviewed in The Age, September 15, 2012
"Most lawyers are bastards. It's very hard to be friends with them."
Stuart Littlemore, The Age, September 15, 2012
"Would we feel better if ... Twiggy Forrest woke up tomorrow, or Gina, or whoever, and decided, 'I've had enough of Australia. I'm going to live in Switzerland'. Would that make us feel better?"
Jac Nasser, chairman of BHP Billiton. The Australian Financial Review, September 13, 2012
"Really, Bob, women have sex because they like it. Bob, you need to get out of the beanbag and go to bars where women are having sex in toilets, cars, parks, alcoves and park seats all over town, while Midsomer Murders is playing on your television."
Barrister Charles Waterstreet's advice to writer Bob Ellis. The Sun-Herald, September 2, 2012
"It's true that Charles Waterstreet, a committed womaniser, is known for turning both the practice of law and the dissolute life into an art form ... He has written desolately about much younger women turning down his advances. But you can't keep a good rake down."
the(sydney)magazine, September 2012
"Tony, you don't know these people. I do. It will be much worse than you think."
Governor General Sir John Kerr to High Court judge Sir Anthony Mason, after Mason warned him that his decision to dismiss the Whitlam government would attract strong criticism. The Sydney Morning Herald, August 27, 2012
"The Labor Party is waging a jihad against journalists."
Malcolm Turnbull, Opposition communications spokesman, on the government's consideration of the Finkelstein report. The Weekend Australia, August 18-19, 2012
"Outside the courtroom, Mr Oleg Ugrik said he had received a call to attend from the prosecutor the previous Friday.
Is it possible to be a witness if you did not witness the incident?
Mr Ugrik threw his hands up: 'How would I know'."
Report of Pussy Riot trial in Moscow on evidence of an eyewitness who had not seen the profanity-laden punk performance inside a cathedral. Financial Times, August 3, 2012
"What does it say about free speech? My columns were figuratively burned - that's what it was, it was book-burning."
Right-wing columnist Andrew Bolt on the Federal Court's finding that his Herald-Sun articles attacking fair-skinned Aboriginals breached the Racial Discrimination Act. The Australian Financial Review, August 4, 2012
ABC interviewer: What do you feel about Russell Keddie’s bankruptcy arrangements?
Tony Barakat: I’m not sure I understand that question.
Former Keddies' partner Tony Barakat on Radio National's Background Briefing, July 22, 2012
"Yesterday's decision is not a victory for Hicks - it is a victory for incompetence and deception."
Chris Merritt, legal affairs editor The Australian, commenting on the Commonwealth DPP's decision to withdraw the proceeds of crime prosecution against David Hicks. The Australian, July 25, 2012
"I don't think it's a very Christian thing to come in by the back door rather than the front door."
Opposition leader Tony Abbott arguing that a Coalition government would turn asylum seeker boats back to Indonesia. July 9, 2012
"The last time Bob [Ellis] was here, he was waxing lyrical about how Malcolm Turnbull had given him non-specific urethritis ..."
Art dealer Evan Hughes describing a lunch at the Hughes Gallery. The Sydney Morning Herald, July 14, 2012
"Prime Minister, I'm not sure what you're doing next week, but the question is: Australian business would like you to run the country."
Rod McGeoch, former chairman of Corrs, to NZ Prime Minister John Key, July 5, 2012
"The problems that send people onto the high seas will continue to appear in the regions to our north. After the High Court [Malaysian] decision - one of the most questionable and curious High Court decisions in memory - arrivals tripled."
Senator Bob Carr, Foreign Minister, Hansard, June 28, 2012
"News Corporation is nothing but a badly performing business, mostly run by untrustworthy people ... Rupert Murdoch is a disgrace."
Alan Kohler, The Sydney Morning Herald, 2005. Kohler sold his Independent Business Media Group to these untrustworthy people on June 21, 2012 - for $30 million
"I was actually called much worse things on the rugby paddock, you know."
Justice Martin Daubney, Queensland Supreme Court, after an accused called him a "f***ing lard-arse, and a silly old c**t". June 4, 2012
"Because Russell Keddie had then admitted that he had done it, he had supervised [Philip] Scroope, he had done all the work ... by making that admission he basically got both [Tony] Barakat and [Scott] Roulstone off."
NSW Legal Services Commissioner, Steve Mark, explaining why he dropped professional misconduct cases against Barakat and Roulstone. Australian Financial Review June 8, 2012
"Any funding [the IPA receives] has no impact on the policy positions we take whatsoever."
Tim Wilson from the Institute of Public Affairs. British American Tobacco confirmed it helped fund IPA's anti-plain packaging campaign. The Sydney Morning Herald, May 31, 2012
"If somebody does the crime, they should be put away until they are found guilty or innocent."
Scot Weber, President, Police Association of NSW, May 8, 2012
"Many readers were surprised, as I was, to read a headline in The Weekend Australian: 'Living under the cloud of Israel's cruel apartheid' ... The Australian believes, and certainly I personally believe, the word apartheid has no application to Israel, which is a democracy in good standing, which extends basic rights to all its citizens, whatever their race or creed. Too often the misuse of such a word is designed to demonise Israel, wholly unjustly. In this case, it was just a mistake."
Foreign editor Greg Sheridan "correcting" a headline in his own paper. The Australian, May 10, 2012
"Lawyers - and particularly those in top tier commercial firms - are in the highest percentile bracket of human intelligence ..."
Renu Prasad, editor Australasian Legal Business, discussing law firm mergers and alliances, April 2012
"Police don't shoot at tyres. We have significant responsibilities in the use of firearms. One of them is not shooting at tyres."
NSW Assistant Police Commissioner Mark Murdoch, responding to questions about possible alternative responses to the police shooting of two teenage Aboriginal boys in a stolen car. The Sydney Morning Herald, April 24, 2012
"I'm a big cog - we have a big wheel, I should say, with lots of cogs. It's a big cog with lots of parts."
News reader Peter Overton explaining how the Channel Nine news department works. Logies acceptance speech for most outstanding news coverage, April 15, 2012
"I certainly believe when words of consecration are uttered they [the wafer and the wine] become the body and blood of Christ."
Cardinal George Pell, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Sydney. ABC TV QandA, April 9, 2012
"Enemies many different agendas, but worst old toffs and right wingers who still want last century's status quo with their monoplies [sic]."
Rupert Murdoch, Twitter, March 29, 2012
"It does not bear thinking about how Lord Kilmuir would have regarded the most senior judges discussing who peels the potatoes at home, how they shop at Tesco's, whether they cycle to work, or how they write their judgments, let alone senior judges giving their views on mango and passion fruit crème brûlée."
Master of the Rolls Lord Neuberger. Speech to law students at Birmingham University. Reported in The Guardian March 16, 2012
One's initial thought ... is to describe the Baillieu response in terms of an abject surrender, perhaps the greatest surrender since General Percival gave Singapore to the Japanese.
University of Queensland's Professor James Allen on the decision fo the Victorian government to retain key elements of the Charter of Rights. The Australian, March 16, 2012
"[John Langley Hancock, Bianca Hope Rinehart and Hope Welker should] cease pursuing distracting, unnecessary and time-wasting litigation."
Ian Smith, spin-doctor for Gina Rinehart, March 11, 2012
"The couple exercise together and even diet together, last year shedding more than 10 kilos each by following the method of Shuquan Liu, a practitioner of traditonal Chinese medicine who advocates not eating for several weeks, during which time patients drink only a mud-like herbal tea."
Life with Malcolm & Lucy Turnbull. "Malcolm in the Middle," GoodWeekend, March 3, 2012
"What Sydney needs now is a big visionary, iconic structure - and I've argued about that for years - and James Packer has conceived such a development."
2GB broadcaster Alan Jones spruiking his pal James Packer's "10 star" gambling hotel tower that he wants to build on civic space at Barangaroo. The Sydney Morning Herald, February, 28, 2012
"Leslie used the word 'scent'. He said 'fragrance' was trade and 'perfume' was something invented by fashion. He offered similar advice for the words 'napkin' and 'flatware'. He would never refer to those items as 'serviettes' and 'cutlery'."
Property writer Margie Blok paying tribute at the funeral of interior decorator Leslie Walford. The Sydney Morning Herald, February 21, 2012
"The party was delightful and stylish."
Deputy opposition leader Julie Bishop describing Gina Rinehart's 58th birthday party in Perth. The Weekend Financial Review, February 12, 2012
"It is a gradual, Fabian-like erosion of traditional rights and freedoms in the name of political correctness."
Shadow attorney general George (Soapy) Brandis on a statutory tort of privacy. The Australian, February 10, 2012
"I will make an oath of office, pledging my commitment to serve the solicitors of NSW, the Law Society and council members. While former presidents have given that commitment implicitly, I wish to make it explicit. Thereafter, the commitment is transparent and I stand answerable to it."
Justin Dowd, President of the Law Society of NSW, speaking at a dinner to mark the opening of the new law term. January 30 , 2012
"The simple spirit of the amendment is to provide the right environment to allow people to truly discuss things freely, to be able to truly think outside the box, to provide a new paradigm."
Fiji's attorney general, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, on the amended Public Order Act, which censors the media, prevents public meetings and gives police wide powers. The Sydney Morning Herald, January 14, 2012
"Running an office is an expensive thing. If you're doing a legal aid case week after week, the point comes very quickly where it's unviable to do the work."
Tim Game, NSW bar council, arguing for an increase in legal aid fees so that barristers can stump-up $70,000 - $80,000 a year to run chambers. The Sydney Morning Herald, January 11, 2012
"[Prime Minister Julia Gillard and former Attorney General Robert McClelland had] risen above their population and developed network connections with elites in other countries. That is their game ... and in doing so they develop a base outside their own country and are no longer political [sic] accountable to the people of their country. [They] have been working their international connections, yes at my expense, but also at the expense of the Australian people."
Julian Assange, saying the Australian government should do more to assist him. The Power Index, January 10, 2012
"There are other victims of this reporting scandal. Rupert Murdoch is one of them."
Kelvin Mackenzie, former editor of The Sun, on the discovery by the police that messages on Milly Dowler's phone may not have been deleted by The News of the World. The Spectator, December 13, 2011
"I just wanted to say you're the first person to have ordered Oysters Tsarina since von Ribbentrop."
Chef at the Savoy Hotel, London, to Barry Humphries. Financial Times, December 10, 2011
"I was not aware that the masseuse was unqualified."
Ian Macdonald, former NSW Labor minister, when asked about his tryst at the Four Season Hotel with Chinese prostitute Tiffanie. Evidence to ICAC, December 2, 2011
"Privacy is the space that bad people need to do bad things. Privacy is for paedos..."
Paul McMullan, former features editor, News of The World, in evidence to Lord Justice Leveson's inquiry into the British media. November 29, 2011
"The Law Society of NSW deplores [improper billing] practices and takes its responsibility of referring complaints regarding the legal profession on to the Offices of Legal Services Commissioner with the utmost seriousness."
Stuart Westgarth, President NSW Law Society, The Sydney Morning Herald, November 19, 2011
"There was a scooter, I remember, and an obnoxious little girl who wouldn't share. In accordance with the school's philosophy, I decided to express myself without hinderance, so I hit the girl over the head with a hammer. This caused a giant fuss, of course, and I had to leave, although the girl was fine."
Julian Assange on his early school years. Julian Assange - The Unauthorised Autobiography, Canongate, 2011
"I'm a confessed media addict, I love journalism, I love the work of journalists. I admire their work."
Kim Williams, freshly appointed CEO of News Ltd. The Sydney Morning Herald, November 10, 2011
"The unlimited extension of the European Arrest Warrant represents the greatest challenge to national sovereignty - and ultimately democracy - contained with the European Union project."
Guy Rundle on the English High Court appeal decision in Sweden v Assange. Crikey, November 3, 2011
"Please don't let emotion enter into your deliberations. This is a tragic case involving a lovely young woman with a promising future who has been robbed of her life."
Mr Justice Field, summing up to the jury in the Joanna Yeates murder trial. Bristol Crown Court, October 26, 2011
"People do not expect a political figure to have an academic interest in art... What they do not expect is someone at the apex of international scholarship in a particular movement or style."
Paul Keating on his credentials as a scholar of neoclassicism. The Australian, October 24, 2011
"Do you want me to pirouette on a sixpence?"
John Hartigan, CEO of News Ltd, rejecting Senator Bob Brown's request to assist in raising ransom money for news photographer Nigel Brennan, held hostage in Somalia. The Good Weekend, October 15, 2011
"Speaking as a bad actor, it was easy to spot a bad performance."
Hugh Grant on Rupert Murdoch's appearance before the Commons committee on phone hacking. The Guardian, October 5, 2011
"The odour of human rights sanctity is sweet and addictive. It is a comforting drug stronger than poppy or mandragora or all the drowsy syrups of the world."
Justice Dyson Heydon in Momcilovic v The Queen, September 8, 2011
"I'm a lawyer battling the profession's epidemic of arrogance."
Geoffrey Robertson QC, The Monthly, September 2011
"There is no vast right-wing conspiracy against the Prime Minister."
Andrew Bolt, The Weekend Australian, September 3-4, 2011
"I remember him saying: 'Tony, I would do anything for this job. The only thing I wouldn't do is sell my arse, but I'd have to give serious thought to it'."
Independent MP Tony Windsor, recalling how Tony Abbott begged the crossbenchers to support the Coalition in forming a government after the 2010 federal election. The Sunday Age, August 28, 2011
"He wouldn't have the balls to do it."
Brent Peters, brother of Paul Peters, arrested over the Madeleine Pulver collar-bomb extortion attempt. The Sydney Morning Herald, August 18, 2011
"There can be no doubt about our commitment to ethics and integrity."
Rupert Murdoch, executive chairman of News Corp, speaking at an investment analysts' briefing, August 10, 2011
"I would just like to say this has been the most humble day of my life."
Jonathan May-Bowles, aka Jonnie Marbles, outside Westminster Magistrates Court, after pleading guilty to throwing a foam pie at Rupert Murdoch. July 29, 2011
"I think most people are actually shits."
Sydney barrister Stuart Littlemore. The Sydney Morning Herald, July 23, 2011
"At some point, he is going to meet someone who is as strange and beautiful as he is and who can learn to put up with him. That person, whoever she is, will be getting one of the most interesting people on the planet."
Harry Waterstreet, on his father Charles. Good Weekend, June 25, 2011
"I think there has only been one time that he's [son Harry Waterstreet] been really annoyed. It was when he was at school and I made a pass at one of his classmates. I mean how was I to know? I thought she was one of the mothers. She had breasts like Anna Nicole."
Charles Waterstreet, barrister, in a father and son interview. Good Weekend, June 25, 2011
"There is a rational reason why lawyers and medicos do not report their brethren: making what may later be held to be unfounded complaints about one's peers is capable of being characterised, by the very same disciplinary body to whom the complaint is made, as unprofessional conduct."
Robert Sheldon SC, letters, The Sydney Morning Herald, June 18, 2011
"Circumcision is barbaric and stupid. Who are you to correct nature? Is it real that GOD required a donation of foreskin? Babies are perfect"
Actor Russell Crowe making an observation via Twitter, June 9, 2011
"Far be it from [sic] the IPA to stand in the way of an exciting career opportunity fighting for freedom."
John Roskam, executive director of the Institute of Public Affairs, commenting on former employee Tony Barry becoming a lobbyist for the tobacco industry. The Sunday Age, June 5, 2011
"In 2006, I had an epiphany. I walked into a room and suddenly I was seeing angelic beings, saints, even Jesus. They were all cheering; it was like a big party ... And in that came the knowledge that I wasn't Kim Frazer any more, I was Shakti Durga."
Former Sydney solicitor Kim Frazer on her spiritual journey to becoming a guru. Good Weekend, May 28, 2011
"I've just walked back from the attorney general's press conference and I was stopped by four members of the bar association who said, 'great appointment'."
Philip Selth, executive director of the NSW Bar Association, greeting the appoint of bar president Tom Bathurst as Chief Justice of NSW. AAP. May 13, 2011
"I felt that John Howard and his style of Liberal politics represented my attitudes better than the Labor Party, so I left the ALP and voted for John Howard. It was a period of losing faith in Labor, and I have no regrets whatsoever."
NSW Attorney General Greg Smith. Law Society Journal, May 2011
"Senator Barnaby Joyce is, as Tony Abbott said not long ago, probably the best communicator in Australian politics. He's a very nice guy. He's a huge contributor to the shadow cabinet."
Shadow Attorney General George Brandis, speaking on ABC radio in Brisbane. April 20, 2011
"Journalism in News Corp has been and always will be the keystone of our culture."
James Murdoch, The New Yorker. April 11, 2011
"What we were able to do is really put this problem into a box."
James Murdoch, commenting on News International's settlement offer to News of the World's phone hacking victims. April 8, 2011
"It keeps out of the top job rather unlovely characters."
Michael Kirby, in answer to the question, "What does the monarchy offer Australia in the 21st century?" The Weekend Australian Magazine, March 26-27, 2011
"There are a lot of things in life denied to a lot of people. I think it is very selfish if you have enjoyed a life of certain advantage, as I have, to then start whinging about something you haven't had."
Broadcaster Alan Jones in answer to a question whether he would have liked a family and children. The Sydney Morning Herald, March 19, 2011
"Her trim figure, tidy blonde hair and neat suits suggest a woman ready to take on this new challenge."
Description of Gabrielle Upton, the Liberal candidate for Vaucluse, in the Wentworth Courier, March 16, 2011
"When will you come clean about precisely what information you have supplied the foreign powers about Australian citizens working or affiliated with Wikileaks and if you cannot give a full and frank answer to that question, should perhaps the Australian people consider charging you with treason?"
Julian Assange putting a question to Prime Minister Julia Gillard on the ABC's Q&A, March 14, 2011
"During his incarceration, [Einfeld] relinquished his Order of Australia and his commission as a Queen's Counsel and stepped down from the NSW Bar Association."
Journalist Candace Sutton with a new angle on Marcus Einfeld being stripped of his appointments and being struck off the roll. The Sun-Herald, March 6, 2011
"Because Lionel [Logue] helped Rupert's father to overcome speech problems, he became confident, and then he founded News Corp."
Wendi Deng at the Oscars, explaining how the Murdoch empire started. The Sydney Morning Herald, March 1, 2011
"There's no one who is a more decent and a more compassionate and a more sensitive person in public life."
Tony Abbott describing Opposition Immigration spokesman Scott Morrison. The Sydney Morning Herald, February 18, 2011
"We're not competing with solicitors. I know people say we are, but we're not competing with solicitors, truly."
Richard Douglas SC, president Queensland Bar Association, discussing the increased proportion of Commonweath legal expenditure on barristers. The Australian Financial Review, January 28, 2011
"You don't get rid of the rule of law, the Westminster parliamentary system and the English language."
Monarchist David Flint arguing there is no reason to scrap the Australian flag because of the Union Jack. The Sydney Morning Herald, January 27, 2011
"When progressive lawyers stick their necks out for the benefit of consumers they should not be criticised for doing so... It is a significant risk for a private practice to take. The risk is taken for the benefit of consumers. It is not opportunistic."
Ben Slade, managing principle Maurice Blackburn, Sydney, defending the Vodafone class action. The Australian Financial Review, January 18, 2011
"I was handed a card by one of my black prison guards. It said, 'I have only two heroes in the world: Dr [Martin Luther] King, and you'. That is representative of 50 percent of the people."
Julian Assange. The Sydney Morning Herald, December 22, 2010
"My dress is bespoke. We spent six months creating it and talking about my needs as a professional woman and my duties in court. My position also requires me to participate in a lot of extracurricular activities. We've called the result 'the metamorphosis dress' ... at the back there is a pleat, where you can insert pink tissue to create a colourful tail."
Kim Hollis QC, 25 Bedford Row Chambers, London, in the Power Dressing column of The Financial Times, December 4, 2010
" 'I now regret not suing Clive Hamilton over Scorcher and various other writers who have completely misrepresented my position and, much more importantly, that of the paper,' [editor-in-chief Chris] Mitchell says ... [The Australian] continues to support action on climate change and free speech."
The Weekend Australian - attempting to show it's climate change credentials, December 4-5, 2010
"Andrew Grech, the managing partner of Slater & Gordon, said he was aware of Mr Keddie's intention of accepting the blame at the tribunal but denied it was a condition of the takeover. His firm was satisfied with the professional conduct of [the other two former Keddies' partners] Mr Barakat and Mr Roulstone."
The Sydney Morning Herald, November 26, 2010
"[It] shows how uninfluenced I am by my personal holdings."
Malcolm Turnbull explaining away his $10 million investment in an IT company that stands to "reap new wealth" from the government's NBN. The Sydney Morning Herald, November 22, 2010
"I'm not much good at talking about myself. I guess that's because others have done enough of that ... I'm not much good at introspection, so I've never even thought about the 'greatest' [career moment]."
Broadcaster Alan Jones, celebrating 25 years in radio. The Sydney Morning Herald, November 6, 2010
"It's a black-tie, champagne-fuelled do, as posh as posh gets. Guests from interstate, whatever their status in the company, stay in suites in five-star hotels, with soft white robes and slippers at their disposal, and breakfast thrown in."
Caroline Overington on News Ltd's awards night, where Rupert Murdoch hands out prizes to his hacks. The Australian, November 1, 2010
"Justice Peter Young finds escape in his model bus collection. He grew up near a bus-stop and says, 'I've always had an interest in timetables and buses'."
The Sydney Morning Herald, in a series of interviews with 22 judges. Behind The Bench. October 18, 2010
"I love nothing more - and I usually do it after dinner with a glass of red - than going through what I have written. My wife calls it 'dog [returning] to vomit' but I think it refines your thinking."
Justice David Kirby, NSW Supreme Court, a judgment "polisher". The Sydney Morning Herald, October 16, 2010
"Like taking a drag on a post-coital cigarette, after each election in recent years the political Left has a habit of letting off some steam after the big event. They reach for their keyboards or grab a microphone to take a swipe at the media. Make that the media with which they vehemently disagree."
Janet Albrechtsen defending her paymaster against attacks on The Australian's one-sided political boosterism. The Australian, September 22, 2010
"This paper ... is tied to no party, to no state and has no chains of any kind."
Editorial The Weekend Australian, in response to accusations the paper's reporting is biased and dishonest. September 18, 2010
"[The Labor government has] as much legitimacy as the Pakistani cricket team."
Shadow Attorney General George (Soapy) Brandis. ABC Radio, September 8, 2010
"The exhibition blends the aesthetic appeal of flowers with a light explanation of various areas of law."
The High Court of Australia announcing a spring flower show in the public hall from Sept 11 to Oct 10, 2010
"But in the end, the vector force of the power and what to do with it could only come from me."
Paul Keating in The Sydney Morning Herald, claiming authorship of his landmark speeches. August 26, 2010
"Coalition with 20 seats."
Election outcome predicted by Miranda Devine, as quoted by The Australian, August 23, 2010
"I think I have no comment at all. Just read our newspapers and see what our editors think. They have the freedom to decide that."
Rupert Murdoch when asked about the Australian election. The SMH, August 6, 2010
"I note that Ms Fraser-Kirk is a publicist. I note that her parents and boyfriend stood beside her as she bravely faced the media, a furtive tear on her cheek. They ought to have said to her, 'Get a life, Kristy'."
Barry Toomey QC, criticising the $37 million sexual harassment claim by Kristy Fraser-Kirk against David Jones and Mark McInnes. Letter to the editor, The Sydney Morning Herald, August 5, 2010
"Much as it is desirable to pursue matters like human rights education through the Human Rights Framework, the fact is this is one of the many desirable policies that Australia can no longer afford because of the waste and profligacy of the Rudd-Gillard government."
Shadow attorney general George Brandis, announcing a $4 million a year saving to be implemented by the Coalition. The Australian Financial Review, July 23, 2010
"The former Howard attorney general and immigration minister Philip Ruddock, 67, is too much of a gentleman to say he feels vindicated now that Gillard is trying to copy his policies, but he does have useful insights from his experience. 'I don't see it in terms of vindication [although] I've certainly been targeted by people who are now prepared to defend policy approaches that Labor [has adopted]'."
Miranda Devine, The Sydney Morning Herald, July 10, 2010
"With a good-looking woman sometimes you can have a disappointment because maybe she is stupid. With a Ferrari you expect more."
Luca Cordero di Montezmolo, chairman of Ferrari. Financial Times, July 3, 2010
"As I watched the downfall of a man with whom I had battled day after day, I could feel the cruel emptiness engulfing him ...
As we waited for him to come out for his final press conference, I wondered whether he would come out swinging like Coriolanus who, expelled from Rome, denounced his enemies: 'You common cry of curs, whose breath I hate' ...
But Rudd was never an orator who dared to grasp the thunderbolt. As the words babbled out, for the first time I felt I had a sense of him, of the man whose true feelings were utterly disconnected from the banalities of his speech.
A verse of William Butler Yates came to my mind and, for just a moment I imagined into his: 'Turning and turning in the widening gyre, The falcon cannot hear the falconer, Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold...'."
Malcolm Turnbull going overboard on the axing of Kevin Rudd. The Sydney Morning Herald, June 30, 2010
"It is sometimes possible in moments of extravagant day dreaming to think of the law as a lush jungle ecology."
Chief Justice Robert French, Environmental Defenders Office 25th anniversary dinner. May 28, 2010
"Having lived through it, I can tell you that the Juris Doctor has little to do with learning the law as the LLB ever did, maybe even less so.
The JD experience is the crazy, smart, scary, wonderful people you are forced to be with every day.
The JD has given me nightmares and dreams, and just like any other degree, its true value is that it's another distraction from the real world."
Michael Cassidy in Purely Dicta, the Melbourne University law students' journal #1 of 2010.