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The Forum > Article Comments > Without fear or favour > Comments

Without fear or favour : Comments

By George Williams, published 8/7/2008

Kevin Rudd will soon announce the successor to Murray Gleeson, Chief Justice of the High Court.

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I wonder who Rudd might have in mind. Any suggestions? Someone middle of the road, likely to support his Government but not radical, presumably.

Of course, as you correctly point out, you can't accurately predict how judges will reason and what stances they will take based on past experience.

One quibble. You say:

"However, it is fair to say that the Howard appointments have had the greater impact [than Menzies' appointments]."

I am not sure about that. Barwick as Chief Justice destroyed section 260, the anti-avoidance provision then in our Income Tax Assessment Act 1936. He did so in the name of rampant individualism. The consequences I believe were horrific as the seventies became the era of tax avoidance when paying tax was optional for the rich. His decisions also led to what some call wet Slutzkins, ie bottom of the harbour schemes. Slutzkin was an egregious tax avoidance case Barwick ruled on in favour of the taxpayer. Bottom of the harbour schemes were tax evasion arrangements.
Posted by Passy, Thursday, 10 July 2008 9:53:11 AM
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