Richard Ackland
is the publisher of Justinian. He is The Saturday Paper’s diarist-at-large and legal affairs editor.

By this author


news November 11, 2017

Gadfly: Kirby, fully loaded

Gadfly repaired to Sydney’s Macquarie Street for a mystery event hosted by Macquarie University. The invitation said the occasion is to “pay tribute to the Honourable Michael Kirby AC CMG”. It was to have been held at the Federal Law Courts until the sprinkler system caused havoc to the halls of justice, so it was transferred across the road to the Mint, which was fitting, given we were about to get information on “gifting opportunities”.

news November 04, 2017

Gadfly: Parry, dodge, spin, ha, thrust

Let’s pause a moment to reflect on the torrid time for Otto Abetz and his island kingdom of Tasmania. Not only do the polls show a majority of postal responses in favour of same-sex marriage, which Otto thinks could lead to people marrying the Sydney Harbour Bridge, but the wheels are falling off his badly oiled state branch of the Nasty Party machine.

news October 28, 2017

Gadfly: Dice keeps rolling on

Dicey Heydon has been relatively quiet since the triumphs of his “Get Shorten” royal commission. So it’s heartening to know the former High Court judge is still at full strength, delivering a lecture last week to a sect within the Australian Catholic University in Adelaide. His theme was the frightful “elites”.

news October 21, 2017

Gadfly: Just wild about Harry

Invariably Gadfly turns to Grouper Greg Sheridan in The Catholic Boys Daily for thought leadership. Grouper’s endorsement of Admiral Harry Harris, the United States commander in the Pacific, as Barking Dog Trump’s ambassador to Australia, could not have been more reassuring.

news October 14, 2017

Gadfly: Weapons of misdirection

It’s comforting to see Julie “Asbestos” Bishop in her tin hat, firing from the trenches. Australia will be in range of Kimbo’s nuclear warheads if he achieves his objectives, Asbestos warned in an op-ed piece for the Fairfax papers. She even threw in the key phrase “weapons of mass destruction” – not given a proper run around the block since the triumphant invasion of Iraq.

news October 07, 2017

Gadfly: Okay Papists, now let’s get Reformation

Our old comrade in arms, the Most Reverend Anthony Fisher, OP, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Sydney, has invited us to a special event to “commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation”. Some may have thought that Roman Catholics are not entirely keen on the Reformation after large chunks of the old church fell off into the arms of Martin Luther.

opinion September 30, 2017

The pointless exercise of suppression orders

“There is a tension between lawyers championing the cause of a free press and what the free press does once it gets its hands on the information. Last year, the NSW Court of Criminal Appeal made some important in-principle rulings about take-down orders …”

news September 30, 2017

Gadfly: Coleridge and the rime of the ancient marrier

It was uplifting to see Father Paul Kelly, editor-at-large of The Catholic Boys Daily, beating the drum for a religious freedom bill. Never mind that already we have too much religious freedom; Father Kelly wants more.

news September 23, 2017

Gadfly: Proud Mary kept her Rollers

Gadfly leaps out of bed every day embracing the credo of Lady “Mary” Fairfax: “Touch every life with good.” Sadly, the old clothes merchant from Broken Hill won’t be leaping out of bed anymore but the good she inflicted on the mighty Fairfax media stable was touching indeed.

news September 16, 2017

Gadfly: John’s no in game of Tones

Little Winston Howard was out of the blocks with a piece in The Catholic Boys Daily, “kickstarting” the “No” case. The diminutive koala is concerned that churches, free speech and children will be threatened if the marriage equality postal survey results in a “Yes” outcome.

news September 09, 2017

Gadfly: Liberté, fraternité, fraternité

One interesting morsel that emerged from the discussion at the book launch was that at the time Thomas Paine wrote his Rights of Man in support of the French Revolution, Olympe de Gouges was publishing her Declaration of the Rights of the Woman and of the Female Citizen (1791). For her troubles de Gouges was accused and convicted of treason and promptly executed at the guillotine.

Pages