I went shopping today. Yes, on a Tuesday. Most unusual in this Year of Plague. However, it was impossible not to. Tomorrow I’m taking the girls for their regular scissor visit which would not leave me a lot of time for shopping.
So, I went shopping this morning and, I have to say, it felt quite odd not hitting the Corona-Gym in the extension before washing my hair (Tuesday is hair washing day) and then writing up my blog.
It almost felt like the old days. Remember them? Back when people were not seen as walking incubators of deadly disease. Back when the fear was about death by terrorists or cancer or, the more mundane, a heart attack. Now we don’t dare breath. But enough of that.
I see our resident park artist has been busy naming alleyways.
A perfect name for an imperfect time.
I decided to pop into Starbucks, even with the enforced mask wearing. I was lucky to see Sue. Even luckier because she made my coffee. It was perfect. I mentioned it must be years since she made mine. She agreed but claimed she just called up the muscle memory for making my latte.
I also had a lovely chat with Vivienne who was sans Luna this morning. She was seated and I was standing so, naturally, she was maskless and I was masked. We really should be thankful that this virus is so easily fooled by chairs.
On the way home I had a completely, out of the blue, unexpected but totally pleasant WhatsApp message.
Darren is in the market for a new (to him) car and was motoring up to Hook to check one out. Lorna asked if I’d like to meet up for a drink. Naturally I suggested coming to us. So they did.
They arrived at about 4 and Mirinda stopped work in order to sit around and chat for a fair few hours. Mirinda had never met them and had been looking forward to it. She enjoyed it so much that she refused to return to work.
We sat and drank tea and coffee and ate cheese and nuts and talked. It was lovely, made so much more so by the liberal amount of hugging and kissing. Felt very normal.
Unfortunately, I was so engrossed, I forgot to take a photo.
Today, this happened
On October 6, 1903, the High Court of Australia first sat. Not in Canberra or Sydney, but at the Supreme Court of Victoria. That sounds very simple but the entire creation, formation and application of the High Court of Australia was far from simple.
The beginnings of the High Court date back to the 19th century. Given the fact that Australia was a British colony, it meant that any disputes which wanted to be resolved in the ‘highest court in the land’ had to go to London.
Even with long haul flights, this is not a good system. Imagine how ridiculous it would be boarding a square rigged clipper and setting off with briefs and evidence, across the Pacific, not reaching London for at least 73 days. And that was the record time made by the Cutty Sark.
As usual, the only winners in a system like that are going to be the lawyers. Something like Jarndyce and Jarndyce always spring to mind when I think about people resorting to lawyers. It’s why it’s the perfect profession. No matter who else loses, they always win. Even if they represent the losers. Genius.
But, back to the High Court…
Things had to change and, in 1846, a chap called Earl Grey (not the tea which would have been on the Cutty Sark) put forward the idea that Australia should be federated and be governed by its own rules. (Clearly this didn’t include the Queen having the power to sack the Prime Minister, as happened to Gough Whitlam in 1975 after being democratically elected the year before.)
Anyway, Earl Grey’s idea wound up becoming a Privy Council report in 1849. This in turn spawned a number of events which led to the eventual formation of the High Court.
The reason it first sat in Melbourne was because, Victoria was the only state which seriously considered the move to set up the court in the first place. Which I find odd. Still, they did and it happened.
Of course, there had to be a Constitution first. This was ratified in 1900 and became effective on January 1, 1901. And from this, the High Court could be created because the rules governing it were contained within the document. Sounds confusing. Try reading Constitutional Law. Now that’s confusing.
While, over the years, the court has sat in various places, up until 1928, it was in the Banco Court in the Supreme Court of Victoria in Melbourne. These days, they hold regular sittings all around Australia depending on caseload. Hobart, for instance, doesn’t see them very often but Sydney does.
There has been many changes over the years even in the number of judges (currently seven) and is headed by the Chief Justice of Australia (currently Susan Mary Kiefel AC).
(Just in passing…Ms Keifel’s early life is amazing. She left school at 15 to become a secretary. She worked in various places before working as a receptionist for a firm of barristers. While she worked there she finished secondary school then began studying law. She joined a firm of solicitors as a legal clerk while she finished her law studies. She was elected to the bar in 1975. A truly remarkable woman.)