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Attorney General Brandis asserts political influence over Solicitor General Justin Gleeson ... Government access to the Solicitor General to be controlled by AG ... More outsourcing of constitutional advise to the private bar ... Ideological agenda at play ... Read more ... 


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Murder into manslaughter, and maybe back again ... The Baden-Clay case in the High Court ... Artemus Jones claims that appeal courts have a history of handing out softer sentences to perpetrators of violence against women ... Populist outcry verses learned legal commentators ... Read more ... 



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    LEIGH SALES: But I think people watching this also want to know that you're listening to them and what those polls tell you is that there's something that you're doing which they don't like.
    MALCOLM TURNBULL: Well why don't you ask me a question about it?
    LEIGH SALES: Well I am asking you a question about it. What do you think - what do you think - what do you think has happened that you have lost that ginormous chunk of approval?
    MALCOLM TURNBULL: Leigh, I am not going to be drawn into that kind of introspection ... 

    Interview with PM Turnbull on the ABC's 7.30, June 8, 2016 ... READ MORE >>


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    Ian Hancock is the biographer of Tom Hughes QC, a hero of the Sydney bar ... He has submitted to Justinian's probing, intimate questions on the eve of the book's publication ... Biographing a biographer ... Read more ... 


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    « Lawyers in the witness box | Main | A triumph for Victorian morality »
    Friday
    Feb102012

    It's February already

    Ruthless competition at the readers' bar ... Emptiness and despair ... Funds dry up ... Then, as if by magic, a crumb falls from the table and everything is brilliant ... Junior Junior on how January turned into February 

    January is a particularly obnoxious month for bar readers. 

    I rushed back from as short a break as possible, partly to retain my sanity, but also to be able to catch any juicy urgent injunction that might come through chambers. 

    Yet, I discovered there were no new briefs, no new cheques and worst, no one else actually in chambers.

    Being left alone with ones thoughts is a sure-fire way to end up before the Mental Health Tribunal on a regular, non-professional basis.

    I now understand why readers' rooms don't have windows. The attraction of jumping out of them increases exponentially when left with one's dangerous thoughts, and nothing else. 

    Fortunately, I am not the only reader in a tiny room using Facebook to lie about how busy I am.

    It means that there are plenty of people to meet for coffee, but since we cannot afford coffee, "going for coffee" actually means hanging out in my friend's chambers' kitchen and drinking the free instant stuff or nicking a Lipton tea bag and sipping from his posh colleague's Royal Doulton tea cups. 

    Nevertheless, there is a camaraderie born of poverty that would likely not otherwise exist.

    Face it, these other readers are my competitors. There are only a certain number of junior-junior briefs floating around and if someone else snaffles one a little bit of your humble blogger quietly dies.

    It explains the delight derived from learning someone has dropped out of the bar and scooted back to a law firm. It is wig eat wig out here. 

    Towards the end of January, at the point when my personal hygiene was starting to slip, because a fresh cake of soap seemed inordinately expensive, other members of the floor started to materialise.

    They were tanned and jaunty, having spent their hols on a yacht or snorkling at Lord Howe. 

    Their presence only served to confirm my reduced circumstances. 

    Now it's February and everyone is here.

    I've restrained myself from hugging the barrister that walked into my closet and said, "Hey, are you free to pop to court for me tomorrow?" 

    Suddenly, life at the bar could not be more wonderful. 

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