Book Chapter

Parker v The Queen and Dixon’s Diminishing Confidence in the Privy Council

Tanya Josev

Sir Owen Dixon’s Legacy | Federation Press | Published : 2019


On an otherwise unremarkable, cook day in May 1963, in the High Court building in Little Bourke Street, Sir Owen Dixon handed down his judgment in Parker v The Queen. His judgement was a dissent, and paragraph 17 contained something remarkable. Dixon's uncharacteristic departure from his usual detached, measured writing style was immediately apparent: paragraph 17 barely concealed Dixon's simmering anger and frustration at the state of the law. But this is not the reason that it is remarkable. It is Dixon's explicit resolve to declare the High Court no longer bound by English case law that renders paragraph 17 a turning point in Australian legal history.

University of Melbourne Researchers