Critics’ Reviews

This short book is a foray into a slightly different area [from Dr Bennett’s historical biographies] as it looks at and reveals the workings of the early seat of Government in NSW, how it was expected that Supreme Court judges would sit on the Legislative Council and of how at that time, there was an air of thinking that that house of review should be modelled on the House of Lords with its members treated as pseudo lords of the Colony.

This book was written to commemorate the sesquicentenary of that event and like all of Dr. Bennett’s works, provides the reader with a perspective of one who is there, watching the events unfold. He does not present the story on the basis of his own views but leaves us able to interpret and react, according to our own perceptions.

Whilst this is a very short book, it is entertaining, enlightening and very easy to read. It again leaves us waiting for more from a fine lawyer and writer. – BJM, Law Letter (Tas), Spring 2006

The work illustrates the difficulty which the young colony overcame to establish its own model of responsible government. Most significantly, this included defining the degree of the separation of powers and working towards resolution of the tensions between the judicial and legislative arms of government. Interestingly, for a brief period in the 19th century serving judges of the NSW Supreme Court were also non-elected members of the legislature. …

The work draws together contemporary newspaper articles, political cartoons and other reference materials to illustrate the issues of contention. Primary materials are used effectively to provide glimpses of the leading personalities involved in the debates of the day. – Ethos (Law Society ACT) June 2006

Scroll to Top