Friday, April 30, 2010

CLERP article and a review from the vault

I recently submitted an article to my friends at the Alternative Law Journal entitled “The first ten years of CLERP: the codification of the Business Judgment Rule and other catastrophes in Corporate Australia’s lost decade”.

The article itself is a detailed and masterful critique of failed government policy but the stoush I had with the editor who tried to trim back the 176 page conclusion reminded me of a previous battle I’d had with the shadowy figures behind this publication.

In 2007 I had a lucrative beneficial interest in the release of a musical compact disc by an intrepid group of Sydney musicians trading as the Vexatious Litigants. Their album was met with almost universal acclaim: Ian “Molly” Meldrum described it as “the best jurisprudential jam since L.A.W by Dr Dre”, with the notable exception of a hatchet piece by my many enemies at the Alternative Law Journal. This review included such slanderous remarks as:

“There is much mystery around the formation and foundations of the band. They claim to be merely a hip hop unit made up of four University of New South Wales students (being two vocalists, a DJ and a percussionist/cellist) who decided to form a band after ‘years of attending gigs and not attending class’. But rumours abound that they have had their ’props‘ (hip hop term for credentials) established through the strong physical and financial support of the legendary Bullstrode Whitelocke KC — a barrister, politician, and philanthropist who is supposedly the enigmatic backer for the band.”

This line certainly did me no favours with my old sparring partners at the Australian Tax Office! Even worse was to come with the final kick in the teeth being this:

“The only real letdown was having to sit through the final track on the CD/EP, ‘The leper on the doorstep of equity’ a 19 minute lecture on the differences between ‘Notices to Perform’ and ‘Notices to Complete’, which reeks of a desperate clamber for mainstream acceptance by the legal fraternity. To me, this goes against the spirit of the rest of the CD, as the opening lines of the first track state: ‘Better shout out cos I’m the lawyer your mum warned you about, I push the boundaries of reasonable doubt, I never cite cases from the authorised reports, I ignore the compensatory nature of damages in torts’.”

I found this remark particularly disappointing as dealing with the difference between “notices to complete” and “notices to perform” in popular music has been taboo for far too long. Mainstream media criticism of artists brave enough to confront this issue has probably set back the movement any number of years. In fact, I can’t think of a single song or moving picture film since this review which has dealt with this important distinction.

The Full Text of this scandalous review can be found at:

I continue to reserve my rights but look forward to the publication of CLERP article in the next edition of Alternative Law Journal.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Finally my time has come!

Exciting news friends!

After years of politicking, lobbying, campaigning and generally greasing the palms of almost every single voter in the state, I have finally succeeded in removing the last barrier to my long overdue elevation to the Bench.

Last week, my bitter enemies in the Victorian State Government, to their deep chagrin, finally passed the Equal Opportunity Act 2010 (Act).

As a result of my relentless energy, the Act has removed a number of clearly unconstitutional exceptions to unlawful behaviour, the most important of which is the compulsory retirement of judicial officers . Grey power is back!

Blessedly, I am now able to be, and no doubt soon will be, elevated to the Bench! It has been a lasting regret of mine that, despite my brief stint on the Midwifery Tribunal in the late 1950’s I never chose to accept the many offers I received to take a seat on the Bench before I turned 75. The rejections, largely driven by my hatred of Sir Garfield Barwick and my refusal to sit down in public, were reasonable, but have nevertheless left a deep longing in both my loins and heart. Despite having never practiced law in Victoria and the likelihood that I will be the stately age of 91 when the amendments come into effect, now is finally my time to put yet another indelible stamp on Australia’s common law.

I imagine this amendment is the first domino and soon enough this type of legislation will follow throughout the country and within the next decade I will be able to be the first ever centenarian High Court judge.

Soon I will take my place alongside Võ Nguyên Giáp, Kathleen Ollerenshaw, Huang Hua and Michel Mohrt as one of the great older persons of the present day.

Tragically, however, a terrible bi-product of my furious criticism of the Victorian Equal Opportunities Act has been the removal of the exception permitting workplaces to set the standards of dress and behaviour in a way considered “discriminatory”. I am reserving my right to pursue legal action against the Victorian Government if they attempt to ban the wasp-waist frock coat amongst my otherwise disgracefully unpresentable readers.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Whitelocke Anthology: "Mary Sidney Herbert: A Winsome Spinster"

Below is an extract from my popular historical work "Mary Sidney Herbert: A Winsome Spinster". This snippet comes from chapter 14, entitled "Mary dips a toe in the pond and becomes the mother of modern America":

History records that Mary Sidney demonstrated a great deal of interest in the actions of her famous brother, Sir Philip Sidney. Whiling away the days with Sir Phillip, this most winsome and flirtatious of vixens would dream about founding of a Protestant empire, the great jewel of which was to be the Americas, considered by Mary to be the last great refuge from Papery. To this end it is widely believed that Mary Sidney offered a great deal of support to a Mr Frobisher whom she believed would be essential in discovering and settling the protestant wonderland.

It is unclear, however, to which of the following famous North American statesmen of that name the references to this Frobisher character (which largely come from Gary Waller's seminal work Mary Sidney, Countess of Pembroke: A Critical Study of Her Writings and Literary Milieu. Salzburg: University of Salzburg Press, 1979) actually relate:

a) Benjamin Joseph Frobisher (1782 – 1821) a noted seal clubber and sworn enemy of Hudson's Bay Company in Southern Canada;

b) Sir Martin Frobisher (1535 – 1594) an explorer noted for his many failed attempts to find the Northwest Passage but great success in defending England from the Spanish Armada; or

c) Arthur Frobisher, (undisclosed) a successful industrialist and carouser but unsuccessful class action defendant.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Whitelocke: On Lawmanship 3rd Edition review

Although it is well known to be the epicentre of the communist/papist/federalist push to dismantle the Sydney Metro project, from time to time I find myself idly perusing the pages of Sydney University student magazine 'Honit Soit'.

If nothing else, reading these pages stained with the blood of common sense reminds me of the good old days when, wearing nothing more than a dignified expression and joined by my good friends Andrew Peacock and Peter Jensen I would lecture for hours in the grounds of St John's College on subjects as diverse as the dangers of the fast line out and the place of the Ascot in a modern man's attire.

Imagine my surprise when, recently, I came across a review of my own book On Lawmanship 3rd Edition.

To read this compelling account of of the most important legal text since Magna Carta, click here or on the graphic below and click through to page 11.

Timeline of Lawmanship: excerpt from 'On Lawmanship 3rd Ed.'

Gentle reader, today an excerpt from my ground-breaking instructional manual 'On Lawmanship 3rd Edition', described by prominent legal commentator Rodney 'Rod' Kafer as 'the next Gatley on Libel and Slander':

'A Timeline of Lawmanship (1606 - 1858)

1606: The Duyfken, out of Holland and captained by the famously scorbutic Willem Janszoon, charted the western coast of Cape York and its crew made the first recorded landfall by Europeans on Australian soil. Bless’dly neither Janszoon, nor his compatriots Hartog, Carstensz and Tasman who came later, had any success, despite their ferocious efforts to enshrine Civil Law and an Inquisitorial Judicature in Australia. Perhaps one of the few times one can be happy that someone hadn’t read Whitelocke: On Lawmanship 3rd Edition!

1788: Arthur Phillip lands the first fleet in Australia and founds a new civilisation in Sydney Cove. Unfortunately Phillip lacked the advocacy skills to encourage the natives to give up their land gratefully and to resist small pox.

1804-1808: A period of social upheaval in Australia, bookended by the second Battle of Vinegar Hill and the infamous Rum Rebellion. The violence and disorder in these times was caused in part due to the poor advocacy skills of colonial leaders, tragically born 150 years too early to benefit from my teaching, and in part due to the practice of blending vinegar with rum to enable the early incarnation of the practice of “chroming”.

1829: After the efforts of brave explorers such as Matthew Flinders, Edward Eyre and Ludwig Leichardt the whole of Australia was pronounced free of any form of native papery and was finally claimed as a British territory.

1850: My alma-mata, the University of Sydney was founded. At first the only subjects taught at the Barrumatta Road campus were phrenology, physiognomy and the studies of the habits of Giglioli’s Whale however by the time I graduated one could study anything from crystal healing, iridology, the Bates method to the teachings of Erich von Daniken. This centre of learning, while poor by world standards, has increased the erudition of Australians no end and has produced a number of Australia’s finest intellects and champions of social justice: myself, John Howard, Malcolm Turnbull, Ray Martin and John Kerr.

Unfortunately a number of my sworn enemies also attended Sydney University: Gough Whitlam, Nick Farr-Jones, Anthony Mason, Glen Stevens, Garfield Barwick, Roden Cutler, Neville Wran, Dyson Heydon, Michael Kirby, Murray Gleeson, William McMahon, Phil Waugh, Sir Douglas Mawson, Geoffrey Robertson and most of all Sir Mungo William MacCallum.

It is also claimed I have been romantically involved with the following graduates of Sydney University: Clover Moore, Susan Crennan, Dame Joan Sutherlad, Ros Kelly, Jane Campion, Jenny George and Dame Leonie Kramer.

1854: Sir Charles Hotham and Robert Rede demonstrate that development of Australian advocacy and persuasion at the Eureka Stockade.

1858: Sydney and Melbourne were linked by electric telegraph. This was the beginning of the encroachment of internets of various guises into human life and the first shot fired on the Australian front in the war between man and computers.'

For more, you can buy 'On Lawmanship 3rd Edition' here, for $20 plus postage.
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