This collection of essays from eminent judges, prominent practitioners and leading scholars analyses the work of one of the most important lawyers in Australian history, Sir Anthony Mason, Justice of the High Court of Australia from 1972 to 1987 and Chief Justice of Australia from 1987 to 1995. This book is primarily concerned with the law that Sir Anthony, with his fellow judges, declared and developed over his career in Australia on the High Court and subsequently in Hong Kong as one of the first Non-Permanent Judges on the Court of Final Appeal.
Sir Anthony occupies a unique place in Australia that cries out for legal and historical analysis. His life has spanned Australia’s development from a British dominion whose domestic politics was dominated by the States to its emergence as a modern and independent federal nation. His Chief Justiceship followed closely on the heels of Australia finally asserting its status as a sovereign independent nation with the Australia Acts 1986. Extra-judicially, Sir Anthony has long been an incisive and influential commentator on many aspects of private and public law and on the role of the judiciary. To mark the fiftieth anniversary of Sir Anthony’s appointment to the High Court of Australia, this collection of essays seeks to highlight, evaluate and celebrate his work to ensure the dynamic and principled development of the law.
The twenty-six contributors include five former associates to Sir Anthony who now hold senior judicial appointments themselves; members of the University of Sydney Law School, including William Gummow, who succeeded Sir Anthony on the High Court; and leading specialists at the Bar, the Australian National University, the National University of Singapore, and the University of New South Wales.
The book is divided into three parts: Part 1 includes chapters on the roles of the judiciary in democratic nations with a strong commitment to the separation of powers; Part 2 considers many aspects of constitutional, administrative and public law as they developed under the Mason court, including federalism and the implied freedom of political communication; Part 3 includes chapters on contract, property, equity, tort and private international law.
The range of topics in this book reflects the extraordinarily wide and lasting influence of Sir Anthony Mason on Australian law, and on law-makers, judges, academics, students and lawyers over decades in Australia.
Foreword: Sir Anthony Mason, AC, KBE
Introduction: Barbara McDonald, Ben Chen and Jeffrey Gordon
1. The Coming of Age of Australian Law
2. Sir Anthony Mason: Hong Kong and The Court of Final Appeal
3. The Modern Approach to Statutory Construction
4. Sir Anthony’s Tenure on the New South Wales Court of Appeal
5. Exceptionalism and Formalism: A Study of the Implication of Procedural Fairness
6. Sir Anthony Mason and the Australian Constitution: Method and Vision
7. External Affairs, Australia’s International Commitments and Commonwealth Legislative Power: The Influence of Sir Anthony Mason
8. Judicial Federalism: Unity or Diversity?
9. The Mason Court’s Enduring Influence: Functionalism and Fair Markets
Theunis Roux and Rosalind Dixon
10. Pioneering the Nationhood Power in the AAP Case
11. Sir Anthony Mason and the Implied Freedom of Political Communication
Kristen Walker and Shawn Rajanayagam
12. Sir Anthony Mason and the Conflict of Laws- a Critical Appraisal
13. Sir Anthony Mason’s Contribution to Private Property Law in Australia
14. Mental Distress Damages and Restitution: Baltic Shipping Co v Dillon (The Mikhail Lermontov)
John Carter, Wayne Courtney and Gregory Tolhurst
15. Doctrinal Landmark: Codelfa Construction Pty Ltd v State Rail Authority of New South Wales
John Carter, John Eldridge and Elisabeth Peden
16. Appropriate Uses of Law and Economics in the Judicial Process: illustrated by an Incomplete Contracts Perspective on Promissory Estoppel
17. Mason’s Fiduciary Principles
18. The Implied Freedom of Political Communication and Defamation Law in the Mason High Court
Daniel Farinha and David Rolph
19. Mason on Trusts: express, implied, resulting and constructive
20. The Dynamics of Australian Equitable Estoppels
21. Mason on Tort Law: What is Negligence?
22. Sir Anthony Mason’s Contribution to the Doctrine of Unconscionable Dealing: Amadio’s Case
23. First Nations Heritage: Land Rights, Cultural Integrity and Succession Law
Table of Cases
Table of Legislation
Book launch: Dynamic and Principled – The Influence of Sir Anthony Mason
Banco Court, Supreme Court of New South Wales – 6/07/22
The University of Sydney Law School and The Federation Press held a book launch for Dynamic and Principled: The Influence of Sir Anthony Mason in July 2022. This collection of essays from eminent judges, prominent practitioners was launched by The Honourable Justice Stephen Gageler AC, in the presence of Sir Anthony and Professor William Gummow.
[Photo] Sir Anthony Mason at the launch of the new book Dynamic and Principled. An edited collection on his influence on Australian law and beyond – 6/07/22
[Photo] Sir Anthony Mason (front) at at the launch. Behind him are the editors of the collection Jeffrey Gordon (left), Ben Chen (middle) and Barbara McDonald (right) – 6/07/22
[Photo] Sir Anthony Mason (centre) at at the launch. With him are Simon Bronitt, Dean of The University of Sydney Law School (left) and Andrew Bell, Chief Justice of the NSW Supreme Court (right) – 6/07/22
[Replay] Replay a video of the book launch of Dynamic and Principled – The Influence of Sir Anthony Mason – 6/07/22.
For me, it represents, as I hope it does for others as well, one of the most durable works about the common law itself, with understandable emphasis on Australia, though not exclusively so. This being the intention, the editors (Professor Barbara McDonald, Ben Chen and Jeffrey Gordon, all from the University of Sydney Law School) and the contributors are to be congratulated because they could not have chosen a more suitable person than Sir Anthony Mason, arguably the giant among giants in the common law. Read full review…
Geoffrey Ma KC SC, Australian Law Journal, v97 pt3 (2023)
Indeed, the editors are to be commended on the range of topics addressed in the collection, with each chapter itself a signiﬁcant reﬂection upon, and contribution to, its subject. Along with chapters on more ‘macro’ issues (such as those by Justice Gummow and Justice Leeming), the essays comprising the collection span both public and private law. In the public law section of the book, Professor Anne Twomey’s chapter on the reach of nationhood power and Victoria v The Commonwealth and Hayden (more commonly known as the AAP case) is a particular highlight. Read full review…
Samuel Walpole, Barrister Alternative Law Journal, 2023, Vol. 48(1) 76–77
Whether practitioner or academic, judge or law student, active or retired, there is material in this collection to interest— and indeed engross—many lawyers and members of the Bar. Read full review…
R D Turnbul, BarNews, Summer 2022