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

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

Why justice matters

Lawyers, judges, politicians, academics and philosophers often appeal to notions of ‘justice’ in public debate and civic discourse. But what the term ‘justice’ actually means is often loosely defined and uncritically understood. Oxford defines justice in terms of ‘just behaviour or treatment’ and ‘the quality of being fair and reasonable’. Cambridge defines justice as ‘the … Continue reading Why justice matters

‘Honourable Mentions’: forgotten justices of the High Court

Knowing our history is an important part of knowing ourselves and where we are going. The following Justices may or may not be noteworthy for their contributions to legal scholarship, but their respective contributions to High Court trivia should not be overlooked. Albert Piddington Piddington was appointed alongside Sir Charles Powers (the first solicitor ever … Continue reading ‘Honourable Mentions’: forgotten justices of the High Court

If positivism is dissatisfying, legal realism is frightening

Legal realism, certainly of the kind that can be traced back to former US Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., represents a bleak picture of law that abandons noble liberal and democratic ideals in favour of a system of rule by a thousand emperors.  Particularly, legal realists' insistence that law can be found in … Continue reading If positivism is dissatisfying, legal realism is frightening