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

By this author


Diary 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”.

Diary 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.

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 …”

Diary 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.

Diary 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.

Diary 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.

Diary 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.

Diary September 02, 2017

Gadfly: Total eclipse of the sane

After Grouper Greg Sheridan’s great burst of God-bothering in last weekend’s Catholic Boys Daily, it’s only natural to find him listed as the guest speaker at Father Lyle’s Australian Christian Lobby annual dinner on Friday, November 17.

Diary August 26, 2017

Gadfly: Marriage misguidance

The same-sex marriage debate has been spiralling into some exciting and dark corners. Among the most noteworthy contributions in recent days we find Otto Abetz accepting in a BuzzFeed interview that passage of laws legalising same-sex marriage “could lead eventually to people being able to marry objects such as … the Harbour Bridge”.

Diary August 19, 2017

Gadfly: Grey matters

Federal and state judges will be getting in touch with their brains next week, or rather their two brains. Psychiatrist Iain McGilchrist is out from Britain and has been invited by the Federal Court to try to explain to the judges about the hemispheres in their skulls.

Diary August 12, 2017

Gadfly: Shelf analysis

In the latest instalment of his blog, Freedom Boy Wilson, MP, has posted an article called “My Bookshelf”. It turns out not to be a paean to his philosopher-mentor Bookshelves Brandis, but an encounter with the books that have put his thoughts “onto clear tracks”.