“The range of “risks” to which a will maker, his or her property, interested parties or members of the legal profession may be subject is probably infinite in its dimensions.  Risk cannot be eliminated from life, or, it seems, from death.

The Hon Justice Lindsay, Equity Division, Supreme Court of New South Wales,
Seminar presentation to the Succession Law Committee of the Law Society of New South Wales, 2013.


Magna Carta (Great Charter), the liberty of citizens & the rule of law


The Magna Carta – Latin for Great Charter

The Magna Carta, sealed under oath by King John at Runnymede, England in 1215, became part of English law, and subsequently adopted into Australian law.  It has been described as ‘the foundation stone of the rule of law’ by Lord Irvine of Lairg in his lecture on the Magna Carta to the Australian Parliament, click here to read it. Continue reading

When ancient Romans didn’t provide for children


“The Romans were also wont to set aside testaments [wills] as being inofficiosa, [irresponsible, unobliging] deficient in natural duty, if they disinherited or totally passed by (without assigning a true and sufficient reason) any of the children of the testator.
But if the child had any legacy, though ever so small, it was a proof that the testator had not lost his memory or his reason, which otherwise the law presumed;
Hence probably has arisen that groundless vulgar error, of the necessity of leaving the heir a shilling or some other express legacy, in order to disinherit him effectually:”


Sir William Blackstone, translations added in [ ],
Of Title by Testament, and AdministrationChapter 32,
Commentaries on the Laws of England, Book II, 1723-1780.
New York Garland Pub. 1978, reprint of the 9th (1783) ed. printed
for W. Strahan and T. Cadell, London, and D. Prince, Oxford.




“The law does not belong to judges and lawyers.  It belongs to every citizen. Only when the people of Australia are more aware of their legal system will they feel a sense of responsibility about its content and be empowered to chart its future directions.”


The Hon Michael Kirby AC CMG
The Living Law’, Foreward to Introducing the Law,
7th ed, 2008, G Heilbronn, P Latimer, J Nielsen, T Pagone and D Kovacks.

The rule of law


“Every person in [Australia] is required to live under and obey the law.  [This is the rule of law.] Every person is entitled to use the law to protect their rights and interests.”


From the South Australian Law Handbook ‘About’, online version,
with adaptations and additions in brackets,
Legal Services Commission,