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“The party room is committed. I’m the leader. I’ve made the call.”

Opposition leader Malcolm Turnbull claiming support for the CPRS, November 25, 2009.

“Well, I sat through the entire meeting and I sat through the entirety of the shadow cabinet meeting and I know in fact he [Malcolm Turnbull] did have a majority. He had the majority of the party room, including the shadow cabinet, and he had a very large majority of the Liberals who were present… I can tell you as somebody who is keeping a very close tally, that Mr Turnbull did have a majority of everyone in that room.”

Shadow Attorney General George Brandis claiming there was majority support in the Coalition for the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme. ABC, Lateline, November 24, 2009. [On December 2, a secret ballot was taken of Liberal MPs and Senators – 54 opposed the CPRS and 29 supported it.]

“Both of you, this case is going to run in an intelligible way. It will have to be done without interruptions from either side. Sledging went out with Ian Chappell.”

Justice Henric Nicolas warning counsel Bruce McClintock and Stuart Littlemore, appearing in Haertsch v TCN Channel Nine, NSW Supreme Court, November 18, 2009.

“Symbolism is important too. His first administrative act on taking over as chief justice in 1991 was to order the removal of a sign from the Melbourne registry that had always irritated him as a barrister. ‘It was written with a texta on a manila folder and stuck up with Blu Tack. It said “No change for the phone”. That attitude had to go,’ he says.”

Interview with retiring Chief Justice of the Federal Court, Michael Black. The Australian Financial Review, November 6, 2009.

“Frankly, it is difficult to stomach the hypocrisy of Paul Keating. What we have now is a man calling for a new law so that people like him can use their wealth, power and privileged positions to avoid scrutiny when it suits them, while remaining happy to exploit the media for their own gain at other times.”

John Hartigan, the chairman and CEO of News Ltd, discussing hypocrisy in response to Paul Keating’s call for a law of privacy following a Sunday Telegraph article claiming one of the former PM’s daughters kicked a photographer. Quoted in The Sydney Morning Herald, November 2, 2009.

“It is the culmination of many years of application and a recognition that you have the necessary qualities, not only of learning and skill, but of integrity and honesty, independence and disinterestedness, some of which will be innate, some of which can only be acquired with time and the maturity borne of experience.”

Anna Katzmann, President NSW Bar Association, welcoming new silks. October 16, 2009.

“Aside from the unacceptable principle of the courts usurping parliament, Attorney General Robert McClelland has sound reasons to reject the proposals on practical grounds. They are recipe for for inertia and conflict.”

The Australian editorialising against a proposed Human Rights Act. October 13, 2009.

”[T]his report is ambitious for a recasting of Australian governance. It’s aim is to entrench values enshrined in human rights ideology. Every vital institution is affected… This report, in effect, seeks the obliteration of the Howard cultural legacy.”

Commentator Paul Kelly on the report of the National Human Rights Consultation Committee. The Weekend Australian, October 10-11, 2009.

“The assassination of such a low-life character as Michael McGurk in such a high-life suburb as Cremorne was always going to focus attention on the city’s different tribes, but now Sydney and the state Labor Government have become a free-fire zone mixing unfounded gossip and claims of graft and corruption.”

The Sydney Morning Herald, September 9, 2009.

“He was being a bit over-zealous in the way he was trying to recover money out of my clients and he was being a bit menacing.”

Jim Byrnes, an over-zealous and menacing Sydney debt collector speaking about Michael McGurk (deceased). The Sydney Morning Herald, September 7, 2009.

Journalist: Do you see your appointment as an opportunity for a fresh start particularly with your relationship with the media?

AFP Commissioner Tony Negus: I don’t think it needs to be freshened up particularly.

New Australian Federal Police Commissioner Tony Negus meeting the media. Canberra press conference. September 7, 2009.

“Dressed in a well-tailored navy suit and crisp white shirt, McGurk looked like every other well-dressed financial type dining there that day. But the sunny yellow and white decor of Mad Cow [restaurant at The Ivy] seemed at odds with the shady tales of treachery and skulduggery and threats, of which McGurk spoke.”

Kate McClymont, “My lunch with a ‘dead man’,” on the murder of Sydney property developer and loan shark Michael McGurk. The Sydney Morning Herald, September 5, 2009.

“I am now fully occupied in writing judgments to be delivered before and after my departure. Thus, lack of time and my special wish not to disappoint the African bodies and individuals to whom so much hope has been held out, and I know are dear to your own heart as well, means to I have only two alternatives to propose.”

Marcus Einfeld, President of the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission, pleading with then Attorney General Lionel Bowen, to be allowed to go on a long overseas junket – North America, Europe, India and Africa. Correspondence discovered through FOI. The Sydney Morning Herald, August 1, 2009.

“We just get our fees from the other side. You are not allowed to take any of the verdict, which we don’t do, so we just get our fees paid by the other side if we are lucky enough to win. But you need a big heart.”

Clive Evatt on plaintiffs’ libel work. The Australian, July 27, 2009.

“I said, ‘I think the nation needs people like you’.”

Thérèse Rein, 20 minutes after meeting her future husband Kevin Rudd PM. The Weekend Australian Magazine. July 18, 2009.

“I think the judge is a fool and has no idea of what commercial radio is like and the pressures under which one works doing a live radio broadcast.”

John (Golden Tonsils) Laws. Justice Steven Rares fined 2UE $360,000 for Laws’ failure to disclose at least $400,000 worth of sponsorship deals on air. The Sydney Morning Herald, July 18, 2009.

“The News of the World has a long and distinguished tradition.”

Response to The Guardian story that News International papers had tampered with voice mail messages of politicians, sports identities and celebs. The News of the World, July 12, 2009.

“This project will help governments frame effective public information messages on national security issues by strengthening community harmony and disempowering potential violent extremists.”

Attorney General Robert McClelland announcing the Lexicon of Terrorism – a project to “examine the use of language [by governments] in relation to terrorism”. July 6, 2009.

“Publishing women wearing their religious attire would offer no further insight into the incident and could potentially draw unnecessary attention to their religious beliefs…

Publishing her name [Shayda Bastani Rad] and image would serve no purpose apart from compromising her rehabilitation.”

Stephen Alexander, solicitor for Kings Cross night club operator John Ibrahim, whose brother Fadi along with Fadi’s girlfriend were shot in a parked Lamborghini. Statement issued to the media, June 9, 2009.

“Talking to [Alexander] Downer is always fun.”

Annabel Crabb in Stop at Nothing – The Life and Adventures of Malcolm Turnbull. Quarterly Essay, June 2009.

“This is a room full of lawyers – I have just checked. Tim from the secretariat is a lawyer as well – and I’m a wool classer and welder.”

Senator Bill Heffernan in Senate committee on legal and constitutional affairs. May 25, 2009.

“Dr Schultz has made a valuable contribution to the conversation about Australia’s future.”

Stephen Conroy, Minister for Communications, announcing the appointment of Julianne Schultz to the board of the ABC. April 1, 2009.

“Of course, I know reference has been made to Villawood and views expressed about the place but there is no evidence, of course, as to what the place is like or what it provides by way of facilities.”

Judge Stuart Durwood, District Court of Queensland, in The Queen v Megumi Ogawa. March 27, 2009.

“I’m a person of integrity … I don’t think I’m the slightest bit dishonest. I just made a mistake.”

Marcus Einfeld on Four Corners, ABC TV. March 23, 2009.

“The sentence imposed on Marcus Einfeld is too light.

Two years in prison might seem like quite a stretch for a sick, old man.

But he would be inside longer if it were not for the screwey logic that afflicts one part of the sentencing remarks of NSW Supreme Court judge Greg James [sic, wrong judge]...

Even after the unjustified sentencing benefit for the media coverage, James has imposed a very tough penalty that goes far beyond the six to 12 months that had been expected.

It should have been tougher.”

Chris Merritt, legal affairs editor The Weekend Australian. March 21, 2009.

“I lunch around 11am with friends from education, work on e-mails, play the piano for 30 to 60 minutes, return to my tutoring tasks by 1pm, return to my unit at 3pm, deal with more emails, rest from 4 to 6pm, eat dinner in the unit then go for a walk in the compound or recreation yard for a couple of hours, drinking coffee well-made by Colombian fellow residents, and come back into the residence about 8:30pm, deal with emails and whatever, have my shower etc, around midnight, read until 1-1:30 am and go to sleep. On the weekends it is pretty open.”

Lord Black of Crossharbour discussing prison life in Florida. The National Post, Canada. March 2, 2009.

“You are looking at the public destruction of the reputation of a man who has done an enormous amount for humanity over a long time. Mr Einfeld has done more for his fellow man than anyone I know or have ever met.”

Ian Barker QC, sentencing submission to Supreme Court of NSW on behalf of Marcus Einfeld. February 26, 2009.

“Once again, you must be Mr President – not of the NSW Court of Appeal but of the Australian nation … It must be President Kirby, and if homophobes snigger that you have become ‘The Queen of Australia’, just make the monarchists curtsy to you.”

Geoffrey Robertson, suggesting the next step in Michael Kirby’s career. Appealing to the Future, a lengthy book of essays about the former High Court. Published by Thomson Reuters, 2009.

“I think that people are going to be out-Kirbyed by the end of the week, including myself.”

Michael Kirby, speaking at the launch of Appealing to the Future. February 4, 2009.

”[Kevin] Andrews is a first-class intellect with an impressive capacity to get across a huge amount of policy detail.”

Opposition Leader Malcolm Turnbull appointing Kevin Andrews to head the the Coalition’s policy unit after the Clarke report criticised the former Immigration Minister for “not reflecting deeply enough” in relation to important elements of the Haneef case. December 26, 2008.

“There is nothing in the [Clarke] report to suggest that any conduct by any member of the former government calls for an apology … Mr Rudd clearly and repeatedly sought to trash [former Immigration Minister] Kevin Andrews’ public reputation … The Prime Minister owes Mr Andrews an apology.”

Shadow Attorney General George (Soapy) Brandis in response to the Clarke Report on the Mohamed Haneef affair. December 23, 2008.

“The government has said it has complete faith in Commissioner Keelty and that remains the case. Unquestionably he provides a tremendous service to Australia in these times of need.”

Attorney General Robert McClelland after receiving the Clarke inquiry report on the AFP’s bungled handling of the Mohamed Haneef case. The Weekend Australian, November 29-30, 2008.

“We have democratically elected politicians with the capacity, the mandate, the authority, the skill and the experience to be able to reflect the values of the community and distil those into legislation.”

John Hatzistergos, attorney general in the dysfunctional NSW government, attacking Justice Michael Kirby’s call for a Charter of Rights. The Weekend Australian, November 22, 2008.

“I don’t comment on my personal emotions in relation to these matters.”

Philip Ruddock, former Commonwealth Attorney General, when asked how he felt about David Hicks’ impending liberation after the AFP indicated it would not seek a new control order. The Sydney Morning Herald, November 21, 2008.

“Integrity is not just a characteristic of our company, it is a selling point.”

Rupert Murdoch, chairman and chief executive of News Corporation. From his Boyer lecture The Future of Newspapers: Moving Beyond Dead Trees. ABC Radio National, November 16, 2008.

“From time to time during the last five years I felt as if I were confined to an oubliette. There were occasions on which I thought the task of completing this case might be sempiternal. Fortunately, I have not yet been called upon to confront the infinite and, better still, a nepenthe beckons. Part of the nepenthe (which may even bear that name) is likely to involve a yeast-based substance. It will most certainly involve a complete avoidance of making decisions and writing judgments.

For the moment, in the words of Ovid (with an embellishment from the old Latin Mass): Iamque opus exegi, Deo gratias.”

Justice Neville Owen’s concluding observation in Bell Group Ltd v Westpac Banking Corporation, Supreme Court of WA, October 28, 2008.

“Well, she is a direct person, and I’ve often said to people that you don’t usually go to bed at night wondering what Belinda thinks about something.”

John Della Bosca, on his wife, federal MP Belinda Neal. Australian Story, September 22, 2008.

“I’m not Snow White.”

Belinda Neal MP. Australian Story, September 22, 2008

“I didn’t do things out of political expediency in the main – perhaps I might have once or twice.”

Alexander Downer, former Foreign Minister. The Australian, September 9, 2008.

“The government has full confidence in Commissioner Keelty.”

Attorney General Robert McClelland, after the Australian Federal Police announced that Dr Haneef was no longer the subject of an active investigation. September 1, 2008

“I would hope to be remembered for having put in place the building blocks for Australia’s future.”

Philip Ruddock, former Immigration Minister and Attorney General, on how he’d like his legacy to be remembered. The Australian, August 13, 2008

“I hate seeing someone being bullied, and as strange as it might sound with Tony, I felt specially early on he was being bullied.”

Mirko Bagaric, counsel for Tony Mockbel, the Melbourne identity who temporarily disappeared to Greece and is now charged with two counts of murder and a string of drug offences. The Whitehorse Leader, August 13, 2008

“One thing you can never say about the High Court is that the people vote according to the political colour of the parties that appoint them.”

Chief Justice Murray Gleeson. the(sydney)magazine, July 2008

“Now nappies have got that Velcro stuff. It’s not as hazardous an operation … they used to have big silver pins.”

Chief Justice Murray Gleeson admitting he never changed his children’s nappies. the(sydney)magazine, July 2008

“Paying them this money, it was more to say, ‘We’re sorry they were so unhappy’.”

Russell Keddie, principal of Keddies Lawyers, explaining why his firm paid refunds to personal injury clients who claimed they were overcharged. The Sydney Morning Herald, June 13, 2008

“We probably did more work than we got paid for in the end, but it was something we were quite proud of doing, to help these people.”

Russell Keddie, on personal injury settlements with Chinese clients, one of whom received $50,000 while Keddies Lawyers retained $250,000 out of $300,000 for fees and expenses. The Sydney Morning Herald, June 13, 2008

“At this, I looked out of the window. My garden looks like an English garden in an English village in an English county. I believe that I am a senior member of an independent profession upholding the rule of law in a liberal democracy. I think this is England.

This being so, I venture to suggest that the Bar Standards Board should begin to appreciate that we rank-and-file barristers will not take too kindly to being threatened with new policies that are inherently absurd and/or not based on evidence…

Frankly, if anyone tries to ‘spot check’ me, I shall not answer the door. And this is before I recite the text of Article 8 [right to privacy] of the European Convention on Human Rights.”

English barrister Marc Beaumont on the Bar Standards Board’s proposal to do quality control “spot checks” on chambers. The Times, June 9, 2008

“Asked if there are areas where the legal profession should be reformed, Hughes responds, after a long pause: ‘I haven’t applied my mind to questions of law reform for a long time. Did you have any in mind’?”

Profile on T.E.F. Hughes QC, The Australian Financial Review Magazine, June 2008

“My learned friend has spoken with a forked tongue. And I don’t say this offensively.”

Tom Hughes QC about opponent Stuart Littlemore on the first day of the defamation trial Mercedes Corby v Channel Seven. April 29, 2008

“Shadow attorney general George Brandis, one of the finest institutional minds on either side of politics, is understood to believe that of those candidates likely to appear on a Labor shortlist [for CJ of the High Court], Spigelman is the most appropriate candidate based on seniority and judicial excellence.

”[Attorney General] McClelland’s choice is now clear.”

Newspaper columnist Glenn Milne. The Australian, April 4, 2008

“People are hypnotised by his mind.”

Sydney radio announcer Alan Jones on solicitor Chris Murphy. Reported in The Australian, April 15, 2008

“Then I hit the curb when I parked it, and the mechanic said it was going to cost $8,000 to fix. Then it was another $10,000 to register and insure – $18,000 all up. I thought, ‘Stuff it’. I drove it for eight weeks, until the rego ran out, and then got rid of it. Too much of a spiv’s car for me.”

Sydney solicitor Chris Murphy on the red Maserati given to him by the chief executive of Opus Prime Lirim (Laurie) Emini. The Sun-Herald, April 13, 2008

“I gave a commitment to my electorate and I have no plans to move.

“The question is: ‘Do you say never?’ If somebody came along and said to me, ‘You can be the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees’, given my experience and background and interest, it might be something I would consider.”

Philip Ruddock MP, reported in The Sun-Herald, February 24, 2008

“There are some, like legal expertise and decision-making skills, which go without saying. But others, for example, interpersonal skills and tact, would exclude some of the most distinguished judges Australia has ever had.”

Senator George Brandis, shadow attorney general, critiquing some of the personal qualities the government said are necessary for federal judicial appointments. Senate estimates, February 18, 2008

“I believe no Australian prime minister has done more for Aboriginal people, in practical terms, than John Howard.”

Tony Abbott MP, reported by AAP, February, 14, 2008

“It has become commonplace for the judges and professional bodies from Australian jurisdictions outside New South Wales to complain about the amount of work, particularly commercial work, which could have gone to their firms and been litigated in their couirts but which is, in fact, attracted to Sydney firms, counsel and courts.

“That issue was recently described by one of those senior judges from another state at a judges conference as the problem of the ‘Sydney vortex’. As the philosopher once said: ‘Its not my problem’.”

Chief Justice of NSW J.J. Spigelman at the dinner to mark the opening of law term, January 29, 2008

“The culture of parties of the Left, which is historically a culture which promotes aggressive cultural change, has not been a culture which values the rule of law in the way conservative parties do.”

Senator George Brandis, Liberal, shadow attorney general. The Weekend Australian Financial Review, January 25-28, 2008