"Doughty Street Chambers - where Geoffrey Robertson reigns as one of the defining legal minds of our age."
Family Confidental on Geoffrey Robertson QC and Kathy Lette. ABC TV, December 1, 2014
"It stemmed from a view that public service was what my family did. It was a question of where you were best able to be of use to the public."
Scott Morrison, Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, on why he wanted a career in politics. The Australian Financial Review, November 22-23, 2014
"I don't think we will ever have a Bill of Rights in Australia and I hope we never do. There are three things that keep Australia democratic: a vigorous parliamentary system; a free and sceptical press; and an incorruptible judiciary that administers laws in a fair and effective manner."
Former Prime Minister John Winston Howard, Law Society of NSW Journal, November 2014
"That complaint has come not just from the usual suspects of the paradoid fantasist left, but from reputable conservative commentators as well, including [The Australian's] Greg Sheridan. I respectfully disagree with their criticism."
Attorney General George Brandis defending security laws that criminalise reporting of special intelligence operations. October, 14, 2014
"I felt embarrassed. I did, I couldn't believe it, because I had genuinely believed it."
Former prime minister John Howard, explaining his reaction when he discovered Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction. Seven Network, September 21, 1014
"Forget the former lover stuff. Everyone makes mistakes and has a charity shag along the way. I just could not believe he had the audacity to sit there and want to cross-examine me."
Kathy Jackson, national secretary of the Health Services Union, on Melbourne barrister Mark Irving, with whom she'd had a sexual liason. August 29, 2014
"All my life I have fought for and tried to help the most disadvantaged people in the community."
Treasurer Joe Hockey apologising for his attempt to justify an increase in the fuel excise by saying, "the poorest people don't have cars or actually don't drive very far". Radio 2GB, August 15, 2014
"I had to throw in a Watson, it's rubbing off on me. I know I'm spending too much time down here, Commissioner. I've got to get back to the Court of Appeal."
Arthur Moses SC, counsel for former NSW police minister Mike Gallacher, explaining the nature of one of his questions at ICAC. Gallacher is accused of facilitating an illegal donation to the Liberal Party. August 13, 2014
"Sydney Morning Herald editor-in-chief Darren Goodsir likened [Mike] Carlton's responses to readers to, 'someone in a restaurant complaining to a waiter that the food or the service has not been good enough, and the waiter using expletives to deal with that complaint'."
Report on the resignation of columnist Mike Carlton after Fairfax Media sought to suspend him for using "inappropriate and offensive" language in correspondence with readers responding to his column on the war in Gaza. The Sydney Morning Herald, August 8, 2014
"I have expressed and the Attorney has expressed very clearly our respect for the courts of Queensland and the great work that they do.
I also put on the table issues that have concerned the government and I guess there are some agreements about the way we are going to work together going forward.
In summary, there is a very clear commitment from this government and I believe the people we have spoken to today, to work together for Queenslanders."
Queensland Premier Campbell Newman after a "productive" meeting with the Chief Justice, the Chief Judge of the District Court and the Chief Magistrate. July 24, 2014
"I think Mr Assange should be man enough to face the allegations against him of being a sexual predator."
Attorney General George Brandis, July 17, 2014
"Any nation that has lost the art of collective self-improvement has stepped on the escalator of decline. Australia is on that escalator."
Paul Kelly, editor-at-large, The Australian, July 2, 2014
"We were invited formally by, I think, the Chancellor of the Order of St Michael and St George, though at the kind instance of the Gibbs family, to the annual service in St Paul's Cathedral in the presence of the Duke of Kent ...
As it happened, Kaye [Mrs de Jersey] and I were planning travel to Europe including principally Trier in Germany (for a European law conference), and could be in London on the very day of the Service. With some adjustment, we ensured we were. The Agent-General John Dawson accompanied us in Queensland House's Jaguar car with the Queensland flag flying: the long-serving driver Robin told us afterwards that intrigued Queensland tourists came up to him during the service asking what was going on inside of relevance to their home State."
Queensland Chief Justice Paul de Jersey addressing the Seldon Society, Brisbane, June 20, 2014
"I've often said and I'm sure nobody will argue that I may not be the smartest lawyer in the room, and if you were in a room with me and I was the smartest lawyer it would be a good time to leave it. But there's more to being a Chief Justice than a black letter lawyer. There are plenty of them already on the Supreme Court, and I don't aspire to compete with them for intellectual rigour."
Chief Magistrate Tim Carmody at the announcement that he has been appointed the next Chief Justice of Queensland. June 12, 2014
"I like Lachlan [Murdoch]. He's a nice man, but he's not a great businessman. He's not a big and good decision maker in my opinion ...
[The Australian is] pathetic."
Former News Ltd CEO Ken Cowley to The Australian Financial Review, June 1, 2014
"I have great respect for Lachlan Murdoch ... and I've always enjoyed his friendship ...
I think [The Australian] is the best newspaper in the country."
Former News Ltd CEO Ken Cowley to The Australian, June 2, 2014
Senator Kim Carr: How do you respond to the charge that your actions have not only damaged our relationship with East Timor but have also seriously embarrassed Australia internationally?
Senator Brandis: My response to that is that it's arrant nonsense. For an attorney general to appropriately exercise powers invested in him under the ASIO Act on the application of ASIO, on a clear case to protect Australia's national interest, is not only what the attorney-general should do but what any competent attorney general would do.
George Brandis on the ASIO raids he authorised on the office of Bernard Collaery, the lawyer representing Timor-Leste in the case alleging spying by Australia. Senate Estimates, May 28, 2014
"I know that he kind of thought, 'I've had enough of being chief justice of NSW', and I had had enough of it. My only encounter with the High Court was in Melbourne [in 1963] and I thought I had never come across such rude people."
Robyn Gleeson, wife of Murray Gleeson, on the appointment of her husband as chief justice of the High Court. From The Smiler, by Michael Pelly, the Federation Press. Published May 23, 2014
"They always say glass half full, glass half empty ... call me old-fashioned, but I'd rather see a glass thrown at some bastard's face ... Remember Ray, mate, you got a long way to go ... you got three [marriages] to go to get me ... so get used to it buddy."
John Singleton, head of Macquarie Radio Network, commenting on the marital woes of 2GB shock jock Ray Hadley. The Sydney Morning Herald, May 18, 2014
"The Attorney General will continue to carry out, with full and appropriate independence, his office and functions within that framework.
Administrative changes aimed at a more seamless approach to ensuring the community has the benefits of the full ambit of the legal system is a positive [sic]."
NSW government spokesperson explaining new arrangements that saw the Attorney General's Department axed and brought under the control of the Police Minister. April 24, 2014
"It's not for us to disprove the negative. I don't feel the need to disprove the negative about our operations."
Scott Morrison, Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, responding to criticism of Australia from the UNHCR that returning asylum seeker boats to Indonesia was a breach of the Refugee Convention. The Sydney Morning Herald, April 24, 2014
"Even in the members stand, you walk around and think - I can see bra, I can see cellulite and everything is very short. When you go to where Fashions on the Field is held, everyone looks impeccible and it would be nice if that started filtering through to the racecourse as a whole."
Marlia Saunders, lawyer at Ashurst, Sydney, finalist at Derby Day's Fashions on the Field at Randwick. The Sydney Morning Herald, April 11, 2014
"The Hon Dyson Heydon AC QC will deliver the Acton Lecture under the auspices of The Centre for Independent Studies in the Banco Court, Queens Square at 6pm on Thursday April 10, 2014. The topic will be 'Catholic Resistance to State Persecution: Lessons for Modern Australia'."
NSW Bar Association announcement. InBrief, April 7, 2014
"Let us not forget the man against whom this disgraceful smear is being made. Arthur Sinodinos is one of the greatest Australians who has participated in the public life of this country over the last two decades. For more than a decade, he ran the Prime Minister's office of Australia's most successful recent government, the Howard government. He is an officer of the Order of Australia. He is a person of the highest integrity and the greatest personal decency."
Attorney General Senator Brandis two hours before Senator Sinodinos resigned as Assistant Treasurer amid mounting evidence before ICAC of corrupt conduct. Senate Hansard, March 19, 2014
"I told my news desk our standards had to be high. We have to be above the law ... sorry, within the law."
Rebekah Brooks, former editor of the News of the World, in evidence at the Old Bailey, denying she approved her reporters going through people's rubbish bins ("binology"). Tricks of the trade, Fairfax Media, March 9, 2013
" ... Eric [Schmidt, executive chairman of Google] saw me looking so gorgeous and so fantastic and so young, so cool, so chic, so stylish, so funny and he cannot have me. I'm not ever feel sad ... out losing Eric ... Plus he is really really ugly. Unattractive ... and fat. Not stylish at all try to wear hip clothes ... I'm so so soo soooo happy I'm not with him."
Wendi Deng, former wife of Rupert Murdoch, in a note to herself, reported in Vanity Fair, March 2014
"There may have been a period where people thought that Australia's attention was wavering, but when the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall visit and when Her Majesty visits ... and when the young princes visit ... the country comes alive ... There's a buzz in the air."
Peter Cosgrove, Governor General designate, in London after meeeting the Queen. Sydney Morning Herald, February 20, 2014
"Most valuable to me is an iron and ironing board. Not to carry, although I have owned travel irons and steamers, and taken them everywhere. Now, the first thing I do at a hotel is to check that there's an iron and ironing board."
Travel tips from Justice Annabelle Bennett, Federal Court of Australia. Qantas Magazine, February 2014
"Heydon may have a traditional mindset, but he is very much his own man. No one could reasonably suggest that he will do anything other than the job put before him.
With these qualities and background, Heydon brings credibility to the commission."
Prof. George Williams on Dyson Heydon's appointment by the Abbott government as the Royal Commissioner to inquire into allegations of union corruption. The Sydney Morning Herald, February 11, 1014
"First, the Institute of Public Affairs is a free market think tank, not a conservative one. Second, some of my former colleagues at the IPA have argued for full privitisation [of the ABC], but, and I am happy to be proven wrong, have never publicly advocated for it ... My view is that the ABC should be scaled back to services that do not compete with commercial providers."
Human Rights Commissioner Tim Wilson. Letter to the Australian Financial Review, February 4, 2014
"It dismays Australians when the national broadcaster appears to take everybody's side but our own. I think that is a problem."
Prime Minister and free speech advocate Tony Abbott criticising the ABC for independent reporting. Interview with 2GB shock-jock Ray Hadley, January 29, 2014
"Early exposure to any form of advertising is vital to protect young minds against the seductive powers of capitalism."
From a submission by Woolworths to Liverpool Council in support of a proposed Dan Murphy's store opposite a school. The Sydney Morning Herald, January 11, 2014
"I am a corporate solicitor. I know what is appropriate and not. I am not some hick from wherever."
Lynda Reid, whose dress was deemed too short for the members' stand at the SGC. The Sydney Morning Herald, January 7, 2014
"News Limited's $1.8 billion takeover bid for Herald & Weekly Times in 1986 broke-up the concentration of media assets in Australia and new forms of media continue to provide diversity, says Paul Keating."
The Australian, January 2, 2014
"Dear Wonderous Colleague ..."
Email greeting from Hong Kong office of King & Wood Mallesons to partners in Australia. Australian Financial Review, December 27, 2013
''As Australia's Human Rights Commissioner I will seek to reverse the incremental dilution of human rights and reassert their essential status in our community.
I will unapologetically approach this important role with the strong belief that human rights are important, consistent and universal and provide the foundations for a free society.
As Human Rights Commissioner I will put freedom on the offensive: where it belongs."
IPA policy director Tim Wilson on his appointment to the Human Rights Commission. December 17, 2013
"The former Labor Government's weak sex offender laws have again let Queensland families down ..."
Queensland attorney general Jarrod Bleijie. Weak sex in Queensland - there ought to be a law against it. December 6, 2013
"We are going to keep the promise that we made, not the promise that some people thought we made, or the promise that some people might have liked us to make."
Prime Minister Abbott supporting education minister Pyne's backflip on the Coalition's Gonski promise, before the government flipped again and reembraced Gonski's funding model. December 1, 2013
"Michael, your shoulder just doesn't know how important you are."
Physiotherapist Stuart Baptist to Michael Rose, after the chief executive partner of Allens experienced debilitating pain following surgery. The Australian Financial Review, November 6, 2013
"This is not some wog Lebanese [thing where] we all eat from the one bloody plate."
Eddie Obeid at ICAC, defending the accusation that he was involved in joint business ventures with his sons. November 18, 2013
"It doesn't matter how much education you've had, it doesn't matter whether you've come from Syria, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, anywhere else, it doesn't matter whether you're a child, it doesn't matter whether you're pregnant, it doesn't matter whether you're a woman, it doesn't matter whether you're an unaccompanied minor, it doesn't matter if you have a health condition - if you're fit enough to get on a boat then you can expect you're fit enough to end up in offshore processing."
Scott Morrison, Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, at the Sovereign Borders briefing, November 15, 2013
"Australia feels totally different to six months ago. Govt will cut massive regulations giving real optimism. Should cancel wild spending."
Rupert Murdoch via Twitter. November 2, 2013
"What we need to see is those involved in the court system, the insiders in the legal system, start to realise that that's what the community wants and they need to act accordingly to protect the community."
Queensland Premier Campbell Newman instructing the judges to do what the community wants. October 23, 2013
''Your honour, if you have concerns then I certainly accept that they are well-grounded. I accept that it's very likely that the remarks were wrongful and I mean, if somebody such as yourself has those concerns then I certainly regret making them ...
Your honour, I apologise if by what I said or did I have in any way compromised the conduct of the current proceedings or done anything to embarrass myself professionally or any of the other participants in this proceedings.''
John Hyde Page responding to concerns by Justice Nye Perram following the Sydney barrister's description of the tax haven taskforce Project Wickenby as a "Gestapo unit". Federal Court, Sydney, October 17, 2013
"Prince Harry, I regret to say that not every Australian is a monarchist, but today everyone feels like a monarchist."
Prime Minister Tony Abbott, October 5, 2013
"I considered that those costs were within parliamentary entitlements, since they were incurred in the course of attendance at a function primarily for work-related purposes. I remain of that view."
Attorney General George Brandis "QC", justifying a claim of nearly $1,700 for attending the wedding of right wing shock-jock Michael Smith. September 29, 2013
"Indonesian flagged boats with Indonesian crews are breaking our laws bringing people into our territorial waters. Their people, their boats, their crews are breaching our sovereignty.
Indonesians need to understand that, instead of a lot of pious rhetoric about the Australian government threatening their sovereignty."
Former Foreign Minister Alexander Downer displaying his grasp of obligations under the Refugee Convention. September 26, 2013
"This is not about me. This is about our country."
Sophie Mirabella announcing she did not wish to be a contender for the Abbott ministry while the vote count continued. September 12, 2013