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A Radical Tory

Reflections and Recollections




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AUD $35.00 gst included

SKU: 9781862872363 Categories: , ,

Sir Garfield Barwick wrote the story of his public life. At the age of 92, he had been at the centre of Australian legal and political life for over half a century.

The story starts in the inner suburbs of Sydney walking to the renowned Fort Street High School. Sydney University in the 1920s follows and a struggling career at the Bar takes hold before all is lost in the Great Depression.

Civilian service in World War II was followed by triumph in the Bank Nationalisation Case. The defeat of the Chifley Government’s legislation established Sir Garfield’s reputation as an advocate in Australia and in the United Kingdom. It led to a decade of unparalleled dominance of the Australian Bar when he continually appeared in the High Court and led in such public inquiries as the Petrov Royal Commission.

It also established Sir Garfield in the public mind as a Liberal Party man and in 1958, at the age of 56, he entered Parliament. He served six years, almost all on the front bench as a reforming Attorney-General as Minister for External Affairs focussing on Vietnam, Cambodia and Indonesia.

He resigned to become Chief Justice of the High Court in 1964 and in the next 18 years gave judgments delineating power in modern Australia: citizen and government, States and the Commonwealth, executive and legislature. Most notably, he provided crucial and controversial advice to the Governor-General in the 1975 Dismissal Crisis.

The Hon AM Gleeson AC, Chief Justice of New South Wales
Prologue/ Acknowledgments/ List of illustrations

At the Bar

The Education of a Barrister
Early Days in Practice
The Advocate’s Skill
Landmark Cases
The Banks Nationalisation Case
Housing the Bar


I Turn to Politics
Cabinet Minister under Menzies
Matters Matrimonial
Petrov, ASIO and the Crimes Act
Company Law and Trade Practices
The Snowy Mountains

Minister for External Affairs

Muscle Men and Portuguese Sailors
West New Guinea Indonesia and Malaysia
Journey to South East Asia
I Leave Politics

Chief Justice

Justice in the High Court
The Building on the Lakeside
Danger Zones
A Balanced View of Conservation
The Order of Australia
The Rule of Law and the Constitution


Curriculum Vitae
Interview with Sir Garfield
Extracts from Garfield Barwick’s Personal Memorandum on West New Guinea