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- DescriptionJ M Bennett's Sir Frederick Darley, the new biography in his acclaimed Lives of the Australian Chief Justices series, describes in fascinating detail one of the most extraordinary episodes in Australian judicial history. In November 1886, the circumstances being unprecedented, New South Wales had three successive Chief Justices. On 4 November Sir James Martin died in office. Attorney-General Want, pressing a false claim to the vacancy, nevertheless declined it. The salary was too low. The great orator W B Dalley, QC, also rejected the position. His health was failing. F M Darley, QC, was immediately approached, but having a large family to support, he also declined. The government turned to Julian Salomons, QC, who accepted and was gazetted. Almost immediately, without taking his seat, he resigned for the extraordinary reasons disclosed in Dr Bennett's fascinating chapter on the Phantom Chief Justice . A perplexed government urged Darley's reconsideration. He did so reluctantly, serving from 29 November at great financial sacrifice. As the Hon Keith Mason, AC, QC, tes in his insightful foreword, Darley's reluctance to serve was ultimately matched only by his reluctance to relinquish the role over 20 years later . Richly detailed chapters trace Darley's progression from birth and education in Ireland to Bar practice there at a time when too many lawyers competed for too little work. Darley migrated to Sydney, succeeding beyond his wildest hopes to build a preeminent practice, command a fortune and become a Legislative Councillor. Always regarding Australia as his adopted country , he retained his Irishness to the end. With characteristic care and precision, the author reviews Darley's judicial career, his distinguished presidency over the Supreme Court in difficult years, and his work administering the colony on many occasions as Lieutenant-Goverr. Darley might well have retired in 1902 when he accepted a place on the English Royal Commission inquiring into the poor military performance in the Boer War. But despite illness, and resistance to social and industrial change, he persevered on the bench until his death in 1910. The product of meticulous research, Sir Frederick Darley paints an illuminating portrait of the life and times of this important man, whose judicial accomplishments and dedication to duty and service won great acclaim and respect. As with his earlier lives of Chief Justices, John Bennett has provided us with insights into life and customs as well as fascinating snippets of Darley the husband and paterfamilias. A proud Irishman, he is said to have 'embodied the Victorian era and its values'. The Hon Keith Mason, AC, QC (from the foreword) The NSW State Set of Lives of Australian Chief Justices, which includes, Sir Francis Forbes, Sir James Dowling, Sir Alfred Stephen, Sir James Martin and Sir Frederick Darley is available for $210.00 - to order the NSW State Set, click here.
- Author BiographyIn the fifteenth and one of the most ambitious volumes in his series of judicial lives , Sir Frederick Darley, Sixth Chief Justice of New South Wales 1886-1910, John Michael Bennett continues a project he began as a Senior Research Fellow in Law at the Australian National University 40 years ago. His (19th century) Lives of the Australian Chief Justices has been described by Australian Historical Studies as a series that adds an important missing dimension in the field of legal history in Australia [and makes] engaging reading , it reflects Dr Bennett's fastidious research coupled with his long experience in professional law practice and in various academic positions. His extensive publications, chiefly in Legal History, but also as a law reporter and sometime Editor-in-Chief of The Australian Digest, have received much recognition and praise. He was twice awarded the C H Currey Memorial Fellowship by the State Library of New South Wales; was a Churchill Fellow in 2000; and received the New South Wales History Fellowship 2006 for his writing a biography of Sir Alfred Stephen, Third Chief Justice of New South Wales. On examination of published works, he has received the rare degrees of Doctor of Laws (Sydney) and Doctor of Letters (ANU); and he is an Honorary Doctor of Letters (Sydney). A Life Member of The New South Wales Bar Association, and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law, he was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in 2005 for services to the law.
- Author(s)Dr. J.M. Bennett
- PublisherFederation Press
- Date of Publication31/03/2016
- SubjectBiography: General
- Series TitleLives of Australian Chief Justices
- Place of PublicationAnnandale, NSW
- Country of PublicationAustralia
- ImprintFederation Press
- Weight608 g
- Width156 mm
- Height234 mm
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