This volume of speeches by Murray Gleeson, who served as Chief Justice of New South Wales, then of Australia, for two decades, is, as James Spigelman has put it in his foreword, “a testament to judicial leadership”. While his judgments are his most enduring and primary contribution to the law, in hundreds of occasional speeches he explained the role and importance of the rule of law, and of the institutions through which it is maintained.
Although Murray Gleeson is known as a judge, he is also one of our great legal writers. The selected papers are models of elegant expression, clarity of thought, deep contemplation and scholarship. They cover several broad themes: the rule of law, advocacy, judging, legal history, the judiciary as an arm of government, the application of legal principle, and international commercial arbitration.
As James Spigelman acutely observes, Murray Gleeson’s patient and seemingly tireless effort in explaining the significance of the rule of law and legal institutions is “a critical aspect of judicial leadership. That is particularly so in an era, such as the period covered herein, when institutions are being attacked and, even, subverted”. These speeches are part of the legacy that Murray Gleeson has bequeathed to his successors in the law and to the Australian community.
Foreword by the Hon James Spigelman AC
1. A Core Value
3. A Judicial Perspective on Cross-Examination
4. Advocacy and Judging
5. Judging the Judges
6. Judicial Selection and Training
7. A Changing Judiciary
8. Out of Touch or Out of Reach?
9. The Judicial Method: Essentials and Inessentials
10. Who Do Judges Think They Are?
11. Judicial Legitimacy
12. Australia’s Contribution to the Common Law
13. Constitutional Decisions of the Founding Fathers
14. The Centenary of the High Court: Lessons from History
15. The Privy Council: An Australian Perspective
16. The Birth, Life and Death of Section 74.
17. Legality: Spirit and Principle
18. Legal Oil and Political Vinegar
19. Magna Carta – History and Myth
20. Courts and the Rule of Law
21. Individualised Justice – the Holy Grail
22. The Future of Civil Justice
23. The Purpose of Litigation
24. Legal Interpretation – the Bounds of Legitimacy
25. Donoghue v Stevenson
26. Presuming Innocence
27. The Objectivity of Contractual Interpretation
29. Suing Governments
30. Transnational Litigation – Forensic Pathologies
31. Evidence in Arbitration
32. Some Legal Scenery
33. Law and Contextual Change