John Jefferson Bray:
A Vigilant Life
By John Emerson
“What a fascinating life! What a gripping book! … Professor Emerson, a non-lawyer, well versed in literature, skilfully succeeds in depicting the life of a judge who wrote widely influential judgments cited by a legion of foreign courts … [T]he ultimate value of this book is presenting the life and thoughts of a truly great man… ”
Justice Gilles Renaud, Provincial Judges Journal, Vol. 38, no. 2, 2016
“This biography … unravel(s) the puzzle of how such a gifted legal scholar, advocate and judge could, at the same time, live a life that so outraged the orthodox expectations that ascended upon him.”
From the Foreword by the Hon Michael Kirby AC CMG
In March 1967 South Australian Attorney-General Don Dunstan appointed his State’s most outstanding barrister as Chief Justice. In public Bray’s appointment brought barely a ripple, but in the murky waters of Adelaide’s corridors of power this decision unleashed waves of outrage and bitter revenge seeking, which would eventually lead to the sacking of a police commissioner, the resignation of Dunstan as South Australian Premier and the early retirement of Bray.
After his successful defence of Rupert Murdoch’s News in 1960, in a seditious libel case, Bray made a powerful enemy who coveted the position of Chief Justice Bray would come to hold; an enemy who would then ruthlessly target Bray’s unconventional private life.
This is the story of an extraordinarily gifted man whose judicial writings continue to be cited across the Commonwealth and who determined to defend not only his own natural right to a private life, but that of all citizens. As Michael Kirby relates in his Foreword, “the abuse of power, recorded in those pages, stands as a warning to us”.Purchase the paperback
About John Emerson
John Emerson is Visiting Research Fellow with the University of Adelaide Law School and the founding Director of the University of Adelaide Press. He has previously published The History of the Independent Bar in South Australia and First Among Equals: Chief Justices of South Australia since Federation, and dozens of articles on the history of the legal profession. He holds a Master’s Degree in Cinema from the University of Paris 3 – Sorbonne Nouvelle and a PhD in French from the University of Adelaide.
For media inquiries, please contact our Marketing Coordinator, Sarah Cannon.
While many of our books are published online for free, this does not mean that the books are in the 'public domain': copyright laws do still apply.
Copyright for all material published on this site is owned or licensed exclusively to Monash University Publishing. All rights reserved. Apart from any uses permitted by Australia's Copyright Act 1968, no part of this book may be reproduced by any process or in any form without prior written permission of the copyright owners. Inquiries should be directed to the publisher, Monash University Publishing.
Readers are free to read, copy, download, print and display a work provided that:
• this is solely for personal use or use within the reader’s organisation;
• full acknowledgement is made of the author/s and the original copyright owner;
• the work is not used for any commercial gain in any form; and
• the reader in no way alters, transforms or builds on the work outside of its use in normal academic scholarship without the express permission of the author and publisher of the publication in question.
In all cases of re-use or distribution, readers or authors must make clear to others the license terms of the work. Enquiries should be directed to Monash University Publishing.
Authors of Monash University Publishing titles are not permitted to publish these works on any website other than their personal sites, without written permission from the publisher. Authors are encouraged to post the title of their book on any website and post links on any site that direct readers to the Monash University Publishing site.
Every effort has been made to obtain copyright permissions for the images reproduced in our publications. If you are a copyright owner of materials reproduced in one of our works and have concerns regarding their use please contact Monash University Publishing.