Murray Gleeson: The Smiler

Author(s): Michael Pelly

Current Affairs

Cover photo: Andrew Quilty Courtroom tactician, a Basilisk, devastating in reply, intimidating and intense. Murray Gleeson has been described as many things, but his grim work persona gave him the label that stuck -- The Smiler. Born in a small country town in NSW, Gleeson became the nation's top barrister and its leading judge. In a legal career spanning over 50 years, he had a ringside seat for political, legal and social events that shaped Australia -- the final separation from Mother England, legalised abortion, the dismissal of the Whitlam government, the Tasmanian Dams Case, the Fine Cotton substitution, the scandalous attack on Justice Michael Kirby, the war on terrorism, prisoners' right to vote and the detention of refugees. The Smiler draws on more than 100 interviews with the man himself and his family, friends and judicial colleagues, including those who sat with him on the High Court. It is an unprecedented insight into a legend of the Australian legal system.


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Prologue 1. Early Life 2. Leaving Home 3. The Rise of Leo... and Murray 4. The University Years 5. Learning the Law 6. On the Job 7. A Partner for Life 8. Stress Takes Its Toll 9. No Looking Back 10. Faith and Fidelity 11. Ritual and Routine 12. From the Bottom of the Harbour 13. Breaking Away 14. A Party Man? 15. In the Limelight 16. In the Backroom 17. Get Gleeson 18. The Sexiest Man I Ever Met 19. An Extinct Argument 20. Blink and Miss 21. Follow the Leader 22. The Smiler 23. To the Bench 24. Street's Red Hot Potato 25. Getting Down to Business 26. Sitting in Judgment 27. No Limit to Evil 28. Speaking his Mind 29. On High 30. A Helping Hand 31. The Home Front 32. Settling In 33. High and Mighty 34. The PR Guy 35. The Vibe 36. A Liberal in Disguise? 37. Murderers and Terrorists 38. Who's Responsible? 39. A Court Scandalised 40. Still in the Game

General Fields

  • : 9781862879607
  • : Federation Press
  • : Federation Press
  • : April 2014
  • : Australia
  • : May 2014
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Michael Pelly
  • : Hardback
  • : May-14
  • : 296