Assent ruled in the High Court under Chief Justice Robert French | Law

Assent ruled in the High Court under Chief Justice Robert French

Professor George Williams AO and Professor Andrew Lynch speak to the Australian (17 February 2017) regarding their research into the dissent rate of former Chief Justice Robert French.

"There was a level of agreement on the French court we have not seen in contemporary times,” Professor Lynch said.

Professors Williams and Lynch found that those judges who joined the High Court in the later part of Justice’s French’s tenure had an increased propensity to disagree with the majority. “This may suggest that the court as a whole will display less consensus in future years,” they said.

“Other chiefs have done that — they have looked to create opportunities for exchange, whereas in the mid 20th century or earlier there was that English tradition of each judge deciding his reasons alone and there was not an opportunity to explore an institutional result in the way the US Supreme Court functions,” Professor Lynch said, “Leadership matters — but it is also the case that you need a commonality of outlook so the raw stuff of agreement exists.”

Professor Williams' and Professor Lynch's research was presented on Friday, 17 February at a constitutional law conference hosted by the Gilbert + Tobin Centre of Public Law.

Read the full article here.