Gleeson CJ

Free choice and compulsion

The Chief Justice starts to speculate about philosophy with characteristic dry wit. Then comes a classic dodge, if ever there was one, from Mr Tehan QC.

GLEESON CJ: What do you mean by “free choice”?

TEHAN QC: What we mean by “free choice”, your Honour, is a choice unconstrained by any pressure, hope of advantage or benefit or force or coercion or compulsion, a true free choice.

GLEESON CJ: You would be surprised to know that there are places I would rather be than here at the moment and the psychiatrists might explain my presence at the moment by reference to a number of influences or pressures that
produce that consequence, but I thought I was here as a result of a free choice. How is that consistent with your

HAYNE J: Good luck, Mr Tehan.

TEHAN QC: It is always a matter of degree, your Honour.

KIRBY J: I could not think of a better place to be than here.

GLEESON CJ: I am sure that is probably right.

Citation: Tofilau, Marks, Hill & Clarke v The Queen [2007] HCATrans 81

Used car salesman

Despite his Honour's stern warning against judicial humour, Chief Justice Murray Gleeson appears to possess quite the penchant for its subtler forms:

The deceased appears to have maintained simultaneous domestic establish­ments with all three women and their respective children. In terms of division of his time he appears to have given preference to Margaret Green, but it seems that he spent two nights a week, regularly, with the respondent and, at least according to her evidence, gave what she regarded as a plausible explanation of his absences. Presumably, over a number of years, he managed to achieve the same result with the other women. This is consistent with his apparent success as a used car salesman.

Citation: Green v Green (1989) 17 NSWLR 343, 346.
Source: see attachment

The Sony Playstation

GLEESON CJ: You will explain to us how you find a matching bet?

MR S J GAGELER SC: I will, yes. That brings me to the little demonstration, your Honours. Your Honours ought have a bundle of material which is entitled “Demonstration of Online Betting”.

HAYNE J: How much of this is on the CD?

MR GAGELER: This is all on the CD, your Honour. On the CD it is——

KIRBY J: We had a Playstation shown to us in Sony and it was very exciting. Why did you not try that?  Read more »

Citation: Betfair Pty Ltd v Western Australia [2007] HCATrans 634

Perre v Apand

And in some other cases, no doubt, so do the people who read or are forced to read them (Companhia de Mocambique v British South Africa Co is one that comes to mind):

GLEESON CJ: There are some cases where people who write headnotes deserve a medal, Perre v Apand [(1999) 198 CLR 180] is one that comes to mind.

Citation: Zorom Enterprises Pty Ltd (in liq) v Zabow [2007] HCATrans 800
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