Friday, 10 September 2021

2021 Mason Conversation

I was watching the 2021 Mason Conversation with Her Excellency the Honorable Margaret Beazley AC QC recently.

I was struck by one of the first things she said. She was asked whether she remembers receiving any advice from the former Chief Justice Anthony Mason during her time on the bench. She said that she had received some indirect advice from Sir Anthony when she first became a judge to the effect of "Don't write too much!". She added that the message was to "make sure you stayed on track", "did not engage in flights of interest (not fancy!)", avoided "overwriting" and finally an "admonition to sharpen your judgments - to get to the point."

What great advice not just for judges but for all lawyers.

This also seems to me to be advice which should be heeded by plenty of currently sitting judges particularly in the Federal Court where we are seeing overly long, repetitive judgments of 300 pages plus. I won't mention any names!

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