"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 in Indi was still undecided. September 12, 2013
"Our papers are not aligned to one side of politics or another."
Spokesman for News Corp, responding to Tom Watson MP's criticism of bias and dishonest reporting.The Australian Financial Review, August 27, 2013
A simple roller and a suit pack most of the time. No need for tiaras. This way I never get caught by misdelivered luggage.
Enough melatonin tablets, which result in a refreshing sleep. Occasional sexual dreams are a reported byproduct of taking melatonin. But who's complaining? Dream on."
Travel tips from former High Court justice Michael Kirby. The Sydney Morning Herald, August 17, 2013
"Qantas says eight young indigenous men who boarded QF2178 from Sydney to Port Macquarie during Reconciliation Week in May 2010 were 'intoxicated' and 'abusive' ... and called a flight attendant f***ing white trash'.
The barrister representing the members of the Dunghutti nation ... said his clients had simply been 'boisterous' after participating in a leadership program ..."
Report of a court case where eight Aboriginal men are suing Qantas for false imprisonment. The Sydney Morning Herald, August 13, 2013
"The modern jury is old. But it is not a sick man. It is vigorous. If it 'slips through our hands', it will be our fault. The time for making the 'necessary adjustments' - for parcelling out its estate among its greedy and expectant heirs - has not yet arrived."
Dyson Heydon on juries, with references to a conversation in 1853 between Tsar Nicholas 1 and Sir George Hamilton Seymour, the British Ambassador to St Petersburg. The Australian Financial Review, August 2, 2013
"The reports that I knew about, let alone tolerated payments to police, are completely false."
Rupert Murdoch "clarifying" to Commons select committee his remark to Sun journalists that, "We're talking about payments for news tips from cops: that has been going on a hundred years, absolutely." July 17, 2013
"I feel that I have clearly been a disappointment to Nigella during the last year or so, and I am disappointed that she was advised to make no public comment to explain that I abhor violence of any kind against women, and have never abused her physically in any way ... We are both tactile people."
Charles Saatchi, announcing he is going to divorce Nigella Lawson. July 7, 2013
"Just trust me."
Rupert Murdoch, to a group of upset Sun journalists and executives, at a secretly recorded meeting after News International had shopped its own reporters to the police. Broadcast by Channel 4, July 4, 2013
"[I will be able to] spread my wings and try to assist the legal profession even more directly."
Steve Mark, outgoing NSW Legal Services Commissioner. Lawyers Weekly, June 28, 2013
"A philosopher? I do philosophy? I read philosophy. I spend time with philosophy. Am I a philosopher? I don't know."
French philosopher Bernard-Henri Lévy in answer to the question, "Do you still think of yourself as a philosopher"? Financial Times, June 16, 2013
"We're very upset with the law in Australia protecting lawyers. They take advantage of you."
Siusheng Lee, formerly a Chinese community liason officer for Keddies, then a source for Firths, now back in the Keddies camp. The Sydney Morning Herald, June 10, 2013
"The re-introduction of QCs will also help clear up confusion because a number of other titles are abbreviated to SC, including Special Counsel and the Star of Courage."
Queensland attorney general Jarrod Bleijie, June 7, 2013
MR GORDON: Can I just make a couple of observations, your Honour?
HIS HONOUR: Sure. Mr Gordon, before you proceed, are you president of the Footscray Football Club.
MR GORDON: No, that’s Mr Peter Gordon, who is a colleague of mine.
HIS HONOUR: Peter Gordon. Yes, tell him they’re not doing too well.
MR GORDON: He knows.
HIS HONOUR: As a long time member I’m dissatisfied.
MR GORDON: I’ll pass that on, your Honour.
HIS HONOUR: Thank you, Mr Gordon.
MR GORDON: And may Mr Gordon contact you?
HIS HONOUR: He may indeed.
MR BARRY: Tell him not to get any matters before the Supreme Court.
HIS HONOUR: No, if he rectifies the situation I’ll give him a free kick.
MR GORDON: Your Honour, I should add that Mr Gordon says they are on the right track, if that assists your Honour.
HIS HONOUR: It does, greatly.
ADJOURNED TO 31 MAY 2013 AT 9.30 AM [12.15 pm]
Proceedings before Chief Justice Higgins in the ACT Supreme Court.
"Better late than never."
Catholic Archbishop of Melbourne Denis Hart, questioned as to why it took 18 years to petition Rome for a convicted paedophile priest to be defrocked. Victorian parliamentary inquiry into child sex abuse, May 20, 2013
"For a trainer to look down on him [former jockey Allan Robinson], even the word 'little' jockey - as though they're some superior form of life that trains horses. Gai is a failed actress who married a perjurer."
Solicitor for Allan Robinson, Chris Murphy, responding to Gai Waterhouse's remarks at the Racing NSW inquiry into the More Joyous affair. May 7, 2013
"News Corporation acknowledges the meaningful role the plaintiffs and their counsel played in the company's continuing efforts to enhance the important compliance and governance structures and policies that the board and management of News Corporation have adopted over the last year and are adopting as part of the settlement."
Statement accompanying $US139 million settlement of shareholder action against directors of News Corp for breach of fiduciary duties. April 22, 2013
"My night ends at the after-party (unlike those sour-faced, weight-of-the-world-on-their-shoulders Lefties, liberals and conservatives know how to party) having a long talk with Andrew Bolt about human rights. I argue that liberalism is all about protecting the rights of the individual, conservatism about defending traditional rights. It is the parties of the Left which sacrifice individual men and women on the pyre of ideology, collectivism and utilitarianism. We must never cede the argument about human rights to our enemies. I could talk to Andrew Bolt for hours on end: he is a charming, indeed slightly shy interlocutor. If only the hate-breathing Lefties who find him so objectionable had his good manners!"
Senator George Brandis at the IPA anniversary dinner in Melbourne. Diary, Australian Spectator, April 13, 2013
"What he wants is the best for the town he grew up in. He wants to do something very special for Sydney. It's not about making money. He's a very caring human being, James."
Packer family friend Lloyd Williams on James Packer's plan to "give" Sydney a harbour-side casino. GoodWeekend, April 13, 2013
"There's one thing we have not won. We have not persuaded people that the market does better because it is more moral."
Rupert Murdoch, in a speech to the Institute of Public Affairs, Melbourne. April 4, 2013
"We hold ourselves to the highest legal and ethical standards. The behaviour as described is unacceptable to DLA Piper and our clients. The emails were in fact an offensive and inexcusable effort at humour, but no way reflect actual excessive billing."
DLA Piper's response to an email exchange within the firm about inflating a client's bill: "Churn that bill, baby ... That bill shall know no limits". March 26, 2013
"I didn't come here to have a chemically difficult discussion. I came here to assist the committee to actually look at the legislation."
Kim Williams, CEO of News Ltd, at the Senate committee inquiring into media reforms. March 18, 2013
"They stare out from their judgments with the suberb elegance of noblemen in Renaissance portraits - utterly confident of their own ability, pretty sure that no other judge has yet grasped the key points and that some may never do so, certain that the parties have not, glorifying in their own self-perceived terribilita."
Former High Court judge Dyson Heydon on dominant judicial personalities. Law Quarterly Review, March 2013
HAYNE J: I am not for a moment suggesting to the contrary, Mr Jackson. What I am putting to you is whether grants of any aid or bounty as a composite phrase, though it can obviously be divided in the fashion and, I suspect, must be divided between grants of any aid and grants of any bounty, may not be disclosing a universe which is a universe of parliamentarily-authorised provision of money and that that is the boundary of the universe.
MR JACKSON: I was not sure whether your Honour said 'may not' or 'may'?
HAYNE J: By this hour of the day, Mr Jackson, I am probably not certain ...
Fortescue Metals Group Ltd & Ors v The Commonwealth of Australia. High Court transcript, March 7, 2013
"Those who drafted the Constitution, those who secured legislative approval of it by each colonial legislature, and the people who approved it by their ballots would each say, if they could examine the authorities on the implied freedom of communication: 'Non haec in foedera veni'."
Justice Dyson Heydon High Court of Australia, Monis v The Queen, February 27, 2013
MS LUCK: I am entitled to be heard, to make my submissions, and I am terribly sorry and I appreciate that you are new on the bench of the High Court ...
GAGELER J: Ms Luck, just listen to me. Just listen to me for a moment please.
MS LUCK: ... and that you have not dealt with me before, and I am very grateful for that but, your Honour, I want to make my submissions heard.
GAGELER J: Ms Luck, just listen to me ...
Transcript, High Court of Australia, February 11, 2013
"I think, frankly, the Commonwealth gets a very big bang for its buck out of the [Federal] Court. They buy a lot of justice for that amount."
Federal Court Chief Justice Patrick Keane, lamenting the court's budget cut. The Sydney Morning Herald, February 11, 2013
"I will speak to the commissioner about you."
Stuart Littlemore, barrister for Eddie Obeid, to a member of the public at the ICAC inquiry who made a flippant remark about the former ALP powerbroker during the lunch adjourment. February 4, 2013
"Somebody said to me yesterday, 'what's the definition of happiness'?, and the answer is you have everything that you want."
Rod McGeoch AM, former chairman of Corrs Chambers Westgarth, on receiving his Order of Australia. The Sydney Morning Herald, January 26, 2013
"Well, that's, that’s the balance sheet so-called in respect of the Obeid Family Trust. The Commission cannot have foreseen the appalling prurience with which that exhibit, having become public was dealt with today in the Daily Telegraph."
Stuart Littlemore, barrister for Eddie Obeid snr. ICAC. January 24, 2013
"Rupert came and hung out in the office. It was funny. We took him to a bar in Williamsburg and we got him drunk on tequila ... He's a sweet old guy. I don't agree with Roger Ailes and Fox News but you have to give Rupert his due. The guy is a shark."
Shane Smith, CEO of Vice Media, on Rupert Murdoch. The Financial Times, January 1, 2013