The Final Days of Alastair Nicholson: Chief Justice Family Court of Australia

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Refusing to hide, Chief Justice of the Family Court of Australia Alastair Nicholson, scheduled to appear before an inquiry into family law and child support, entered Australia's Parliament House in Canberra via the front door on the 10th October 2003.
As Chief Justice of one of the most unpopular courts in the country, Nicholson had become a key figure fuelling discontent with Australia's political, bureaucratic and judicial wings of government. With millions of Australians having gone through the shredder of the country's divorce regime, he had become a focus for community discontent.
So heightened had the debate around Nicholson become that politicians rightly feared the general public were losing faith in the country's governance.
Nicholson was arguably the single most outspoken, certainly the most controversial judge ever to serve in the Australian court system; deeply hated by some, admired by others. Politicians from both sides of politics had reason to fear his ever ready tongue.
The appearance before the Inquiry of the one man who had done more to shape the nature of Australian family law than any other individual had been looked forward to by his critics with a kind of wonder and anticipation, a fascination for the grotesque.
Despite a plethora of Inquiries, including a devastating critique from the government's chief adviser on legal matters the Australian Law Reform Commission, doubt was not a trait Nicholson ever displayed in public.
Was this the inquiry which would finally nail him to the wall?
To the chagrin of his critics, Nicholson showed not a sliver of regret or self-doubt. He has continued to be outspoken since his retirement from the bench and move into academic life.
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About the author

The first money William John Stapleton ever made out of writing was in 1972 when he was co-winner of Australia's leading cultural celebration the Adelaide Arts Festival's Short Story Competition. The amount of $75 seemed like a windfall at the time and opened his eyes to the fact he could make money out of what he liked to do the most - that is to write. He graduated in 1975 with a double major in philosophy and anthropology from Macquarie University and did post-graduate work in the Sociology Department at Flinders University. His articles and fiction have appeared in a wide range of magazines, newspapers and anthologies Men Love Sex, a collection of short stories which briefly topped Australia's bestseller lists, as well as Australian Politics, a collection of profiles and analyses by journalists from The Australian newspaper. After a long period as either a contributor or doing casual shifts as a reporter, Stapleton joined the staff of The Sydney Morning Herald in the mid-1980s. He later joined the staff of The Australian. As a general news reporter in Sydney John Stapleton, or "Stapo" as he was universally known, covered literally thousands of stories, from the funerals of bikies, children and dignitaries to fires, floods, droughts, from the demonstrations of inner-city worthies concerned over the plight of refugees to the sad and pointless deaths of youth in the city's impoverished housing estates. In 2000 he joined a small group of separated dads at the community radio station 2GLF in western Sydney as a volunteer, thereby helping to found Dads On The Air, now the world's longest running radio program dedicated to fatherhood issues. After a break during which he wrote two books and a movie script following his departure from full time work Stapleton has established a small publishing enterprise, A Sense of Place Publishing.

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Additional Information

Publisher
eBookIt.com
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Published on
May 22, 2013
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Pages
83
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ISBN
9781456615154
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Lawyers & Judges
Biography & Autobiography / Literary
Biography & Autobiography / Literary Figures
Family & Relationships / Divorce & Separation
Law / Family Law / Divorce & Separation
Literary Criticism / Australian & Oceanian
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