The Australian Book of Great Trials

The Australian Book of Great Trials contains twelve of the most extraordinary cases to have been heard in a courtoom, stories from 1788 to 2008 that have helped shape how we live our lives.

The book was written by Jeremy Stoljar – a barrister in a commercial law practice in Sydney and colleague of Ian, one of our book club members.

From the back cover:

Included here are the nation’s first ever civil case from two convicts (Henry and Susannah Cable), the infamous trial of bush ranger and folk hero Ned Kelly, the case of the dingo and baby at Uluru (Lindy Chamberlain), and Eddie Mabo’s historic fight for indigenous people’s land rights. More recently still is the ‘Jihad Jack’ case, which brought issues of terrorism and fundamentalism before a jury.

“There are remarkable stories not only because they actually happened, but because they help tell us just what it means to be Australian.

I enjoyed reading this book and learnt a lot about Australian History. The author gives a detailed historical background to each case, explaining the time and place as well as introducing the people involved.

These are the cases with some links to Wikipedia and other resources to help you learn more about the scope of this book.

1. The Case of Henry and Susannah Cable

Colonial Case Law

2. The Trial of the Myall Creek Murderers (1838)

Massacre of Aboriginals by white people. Wikipedia.

3. The Eureka Stockade Trials

Eureka Rebellion and the story of the Southern Cross  on Wikipedia.  Raffaello Carboni  and Peter Lalor (activist turned politician)

4. The Trial of Ned Kelly


5. The Case of George Dean (Poisoner)

Wikipedia and NSW State Archives (The Lemon Syrup Case)

6. The Communist Party Case

Australian Communist Party vs Commonwealth of Australia. Wikipedia

7. The Sydney Orr Case

Australian Biographical Dictionary online

8. The Trial of Ronald Ryan

The Last Man to be Hanged in Australia (1967) – Wikipedia.

9. The Chamberlain Case

Azaria Chamberlain Disappearance – Wikipedia  and the  Famous Trials web site

10. The Trials of Lionel Murphy


11. The Mabo case

Eddie Mabo on Wikipedia and the Mabo Trial No1 and Mabo Trial No 2

12. The Trials of Jihad Jack


Author: charuzu

I live in Sydney and interests include music, piano playing, technology, cooking, English language, public speaking, Toastmasters, Asian culture (especially Japan and Korea), cinema, personal development, productivity and making friends with people from around the world.

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