Law

Dyson Heydon, Black-Letter Legalist

The necessary starting point for any discussion of Dyson Heydon is Sir Owen Dixon. In 1952 Sir Owen was sworn in as Chief Justice and professed his belief that there is: “no other safe guide to judicial decisions in great conflicts than a strict and complete legalism”.1 In short, legalism demands: “the disinterested application by the judge of known law drawn from existing legal sources independently of the personal beliefs of the judge”.2 This is no simple task. It requires the application of “strict logic and high technique”3 on the part of the judge. First and foremost, this article will…

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