User namePassword 

 Print this Issue Home  •  Archive  •  About Us  •  Contact  •  Advertise  •  Merchandise Subscribe  •  Free Trial
On the Couch
28 August, 2007  
Roddy Meagher

He’s not too old to heave himself onto Justinian’s couch from where he issues his thoughts on Julia Gillard, Michael Kirby and the Queen’s religion


imageRoderick Pitt Meagher retired from the NSW Court of Appeal in 2004. He spent 15 years on the bench after a 29-year stint at the bar and was president of the NSW Bar Association in 1980-81.

The lad from Temora was a solicitor with Minter Simpson for a year before taking up residence at Selborne Chambers in 1960. He is notorious for his acerbic wit, collection of objets d’art and his beloved Alsatian, Didier.

On the eve of his retirement from the Court of Appeal, Meagher composed a book of profiles called Portraits on Yellow Paper. The publisher, Central Queensland University Press, requested Meagher remove a defamatory entry about former High Court judge Mary Gaudron.

In July, Roddy Meagher settled a claim in defamation against The Daily Telegraph over the “pervert and his mates” story that attacked people who had provided character references for the prosecuted prosecutor Patrick Power. Meagher received $30,000, his costs and an apology.

He’s disporting himself on Justinian’s couch, from where he’s trying to revive antiquated grammar.

Describe yourself in three words.
Old, ill, destitute.

What are you currently reading?
Cardinal Newman’s “Apologia Pro Vita Sua”.

What’s your favourite film?
Les Enfants du Paradis”.

Who or what do you fantasise about?
The Queen becoming a Catholic.

What stimulants do you recommend?
Whisky.

What is your greatest fear?
Julia Gillard becoming Prime Minister.

What words or phrases do you overuse?
Tant pis.

Who would you most like to meet?
imageJustice Scalea [sic] (I assume “who” means “whom”).

Who do you envy and why?
The chief justice, because he can cause mischief (who = whom).

What is your most disturbing personal obsession?
The comments taking over.

What’s your most glamorous feature?
A taste for art.

If you were a foodstuff, what would you be?
An oyster.

What human quality do you most distrust?
Charm.

What would you change about Australia?
Introduce a responsible press.

Who or what do you consider overrated?
Kirby J (who = whom).

What’s the first thing you do in the morning?
Clean my teeth.

How would you like to die?
In bed.

What would your epitaph say?
We dance no more.

When you shut your eyes and think of the word “law”, what comes to mind?
Confusion.