On the passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the politicisation of the Courts

Earlier this week I was published in The Spectator with some reflections on the ramifications of the sudden passing of US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The intense political battle that is brewing over President Donald Trump's nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett as Ginsburg's replacement demonstrates just how contentious the Supreme Court has … Continue reading On the passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the politicisation of the Courts

Reflections on the Engineers’ decision, 100 years on

Earlier this month I was published in The Spectator to mark the 100-year anniversary of the Engineers' decision on 31 August 1920. One of the most consequential High Court decisions in Australian history, the Engineers' case effectively re-wrote the core assumptions that had previously underpinned the interpretation of Commonwealth legislative power under the Constitution. Here … Continue reading Reflections on the Engineers’ decision, 100 years on

Reflections on DPP v Walters and Boutlon v The Queen

The Victorian cases of DPP v Walters[1] and Boulton v The Queen[2] demonstrate how textualist arguments can be used to sustain judgments that clearly do not accord with the legislative intent of Parliament. These cases involved courts engaged in supposedly textualist analysis that resulted in interpretations of statutes that were clearly and wholly inconsistent with … Continue reading Reflections on DPP v Walters and Boutlon v The Queen

Why study the humanities over the natural sciences

The science grad asks, “Why does it work?” The engineering grad asks, “How does it work?” The accounting grad asks, “How much will it cost?” The arts grad asks, "Do you want fries with that? Having completed a BA before commencing my JD, I'm no stranger to the all-too-common wisecrack that Arts graduates struggle to … Continue reading Why study the humanities over the natural sciences

Precatory words, Love and the law of equity

In Australia, it is well-established (see eg Paul v Constance) that the creation of a trust requires a sufficiently clear manifestation of intent on the part of the supposed settlor (the 'certainty of intention' requirement). Generally, the requisite intention is said to be evinced by the use of language bearing a sufficiently imperative character. The … Continue reading Precatory words, Love and the law of equity