The Federation Press

The Happy Couple

Law and literature


What are the connections between law and literature? The judges, lawyers and scholars who contribute the 32 chapters in this volume range over subject matter as diverse as witches in 19th-century horror fiction, defamation, censorship, the rhetoric in 4th-century Roman statutes and the real story in Donoghue v Stevenson.


A lawyer without history or literature is a mechanic, a mere working mason; if he possesses some knowledge of these he may venture to call himself an architect. - Sir Walter Scott, Guy Mannering
So what remains of Sir Walter Scott’s thesis ...? A good deal, theoretically. The contributions I have touched on (and there are many more of equal merit) show that in every age law reform is often prompted by a writer such as Dickens. ... Judges ... must often fill the gaps in statutes and constitutions ... The sources they draw on will probably include history and literature, and the present volume is a valuable aid in understanding the way in which such sources are put to work. - Nicholas Hasluck, Australian Book Review

Table of Contents

Preliminary Exercise

Kja Asche
A Dickens of a Legal Quiz


Richard Bauman
The Language of Roman Statutes
Andrew Buck
Rhetoric and the Law of Property
Geoff Windon
Burke’s Law
Peter Boss
Children in the Industrial Revolution

Stranger than Fiction

Simon Petch
The Poetics of Infanticide
Alan Dilnot
Madness and the Law
Kieran Dolin
Bleak House: Chancery versus Equity
Kja Asche
Dickens and the Law
Paul D Elliott
The Law in the Theatre
Elaine Barry
Women, Law and Literature
Penelope Pether
Sex, Lies and Defamation
Donat Gallagher
Holy Deadlock and a Handful of Dust
J Neville Turner
Jakob Wassermann’s Der Fall Maurizius
Sidra Kranz Moshinsky
Literature of the Holocaust
Christine Higgins
Tales of Gothic Horror
Peter Hutchings
Censorship, Violence and the Law
Joe Grixti
Coming to Terms with Villainy

At the Workfront

Lloyd Davies
The Public Figures Defence
Peter Heerey
The Biter Bit
Maurie Scott
Rules of Evidence
Colin Golvan
Writers’ Agreements with Publishers
Stephen Gray
Aboriginal Designs and Copyright

On a Higher Plane

Graham Fricke
Literary Styles in Judgments
James Boyd White
The Ethics of Meaning
Arthur Glass
James Boyd White and the Character of Judgments
Jeffrey Barnes
The Odd Couple: Statutes and literature
Stephen A James
Originalism and Constitutional Interpretation in Australia
Terry Threadgold
Re-writing Law as Postmodern Fiction
Rosanne Kennedy
The Logic of Metonymy
Johanna Sutherland
Discourse Analysis and the Nuclear Non-proliferation ’Regime’
Michael Meehan
An Anatomy of Australian Law

A Dickens of a Legal Quiz: The Solution

Of interest...