The Trials of Justice Murphy

An interesting mix of legal and political history, this book delves into the story of how it came about that Lionel Murphy, one of Australia’s most senior judges, was once accused of putting his freedom, and the reputation of the High Court, in jeopardy to help a friend.

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ISBN/ISSN: 9780409345414
Release Date: November 01, 2016
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AUD$ 71.01
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ISBN/ISSN: 9780409345421
Release Date: November 01, 2016
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Product description

October 2016 marks thirty years since the death of former High Court Justice Lionel Murphy, a controversial legal and political figure who despite his many achievements is perhaps best known for being charged with attempting to pervert the course of justice.

The book takes an in-depth look at the unique story of how Murphy, a High Court judge at that time, was charged with serious criminal offences, found guilty of one and subsequently sentenced to imprisonment. The book examines the first trial in depth, turning then to the appeal and second trial, at which Murphy was acquitted. Facing a further inquiry, Murphy was diagnosed with a terminal illness, but controversially returned to sit as a judge, delivering his last judgments just an hour before he died.

Follow the fascinating story of how it came about that one of Australia’s most senior judges was once accused of putting his freedom, and the reputation of the High Court, in jeopardy to help a friend.

Book Review - The Law Society of Tasmania

Features

  • Discussion of conduct of trials, including some legal and practical aspects of advocacy and evidence
  • A fascinating look into one story of Australia’s political and legal history

Related Titles

Field, Crimes That Shaped the Law, 2015
Howard, R v Milat: A Case Study in Cross-Examination, 2014

Featured Authors

Table of contents


  1. Background to the Story

  2. The Main Crown Witness: Clarrie Briese, the Lutheran from Trungley

  3. Morgan Ryan’s Dinner Party: Briese Meets Murphy

  4. The Age Tapes: Allegations Against a Judge

  5. A Senate Inquiry

  6. An Allegation Against Another Judge

  7. The Pope’s Jockey Saddles Up

  8. A Second Senate inquiry

  9. Murphy is Charged

  10. The Committal Hearing

  11. A High Court Judge is Committed for Trial

  12. The Trial: Part 1 — The Beginning

  13. The Trial: Part 2 — The Crown Case

  14. The Trial: Part 3 — The Defence Case

  15. The Trial: Part 4 — Character Witnesses

  16. The Trial: Part 5 — Addresses and Summing Up

  17. The Verdicts

  18. The Public Discusses the Verdicts

  19. Some Press Observations on the Trial

  20. The Jurors Respond to Critics

  21. Jury Disclosures Become Part of the Case

  22. An Interlude: The Law About Jury Disclosures

  23. Murphy Becomes a High Court Litigant

  24. The Sentencing Hearing

  25. A High Court Judge is Sentenced to Imprisonment

  26. The Foord Trial

  27. Murphy’s Appeal

  28. Murphy is Granted a Retrial

  29. Murphy’s Second Trial

  30. The Final Verdict and its Aftermath

  31. Murphy’s Dock Statement Has Other Repercussions

  32. A New Inquiry

  33. Murphy’s Last Judgments and His Death


Appendix 1: Chronology of events


Appendix 2: 'Proved misbehaviour': Section 72 (ii) of the Constitution


Appendix 3: The McClelland ‘perjury’ confessions