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|Title:||Sir Owen Dixon, strict legalism and McRae v Commonwealth Disposals Commission|
|Citation:||Oxford University Commonwealth Law Journal, 2009; 9(2):141-165|
|Abstract:||One of the central debates in law concerns the nature of judging and, in particular, whether judicial reasoning is in any way bounded or whether it is essentially open-ended. In Australia a particularly influential view for many years was that expressed by Sir Owen Dixon that judging should be in accord with a “strict and complete legalism”. This paper considers in detail the High Court decision of McRae v Commonwealth Disposals Commission, where Dixon and Fullagar JJ reconfigured the common law's treatment of mutual mistake, to see if his reasoning is in line with his self-described judicial method. This analysis provides a case study of Dixon J's fidelity to his self-proclaimed strict legalism and illustrates the creative yet bounded nature of his understanding of the judicial role.|
|Rights:||Copyright status unknown|
|Appears in Collections:||Law publications|
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