Sir Owen Dixon is the most renowned jurist Australia has ever produced. His lasting significance stems not only from a mastery of the technique of the common law, but from his involvement in many of the most important decisions in Australia’s legal history. During the course of his long tenure on the High Court of Australia, Dixon oversaw the development of virtually every branch of the law. This volume contributes to the understanding of Dixon’s jurisprudence, his judicial method and present-day significance. It ranges widely over the various branches of the law which were enriched by his contributions. The contributors include leading scholars and jurists from across Australia.
The essays which comprise the volume are arranged in three sections. The first takes up a number of fundamental questions going to the character of Dixon’s judicial philosophy. Space is devoted to an assessment of the nature and merits of ‘legalism’, as well as a study of Dixon’s views of the Privy Council. The second section is concerned with his contributions to public law, including his decisions in respect of the criminal law. The third section is concerned with his judgments in private law, including his influence on real property, equity, contract and tort.
Foreword by The Hon Susan Kiefel AC
Table of Cases
Table of Statutes
John Eldridge and Timothy Pilkington
1. Sir Owen Dixon and the Common Law Method
Ruth C A Higgins
2. Parker v The Queen and Dixon’s Diminishing Confidence in the Privy Council
3. Fashioning the Keystone of the Federal Structure: Dixon’s Influence on Section 109 of the Constitution
4. Sir Owen Dixon and the Concept of ‘Nationhood’ as a Source of Commonwealth Power
5. Protecting Judicial Independence and the Rule of Law: Dixon’s Chapter III Legacy
6. An Enduring Influence: Sir Owen Dixon’s Contribution to Administrative Law
Neil Williams and Claire Palmer
7. Sir Owen Dixon on Criminal Law and the Law of Evidence
8. Sir Owen Dixon’s Insight into the Law of Real Property
Arthur R Emmett
9. Advance Payments and the Border of Contract and Restitution: McDonald v Dennys Lascelles Revisited
10. Sir Owen Dixon and Yerkey v Jones: Considering the Feminist Implications of Strict and Complete Legalism
11. Sir Owen Dixon and the Law of Contract
12. Dixon’s Tort Judgments: Master Craftsman or Competent Technician?
13. Sir Owen Dixon’s Contribution to Australian Defamation Jurisprudence