My late colleague, Emeritus Professor Enid Campbell, and I were very delighted when Cambridge University Press gave us the green light to proceed with a second edition of The Australian Judiciary. We were much heartened by the warm reception to the first edition of the book. Unfortunately, Enid did not recover from an illness and unexpectedly passed away before work on the second edition could commence. In this edition I have taken into account a number of interesting and controversial developments pertaining to individual members of the judiciary and to the institution as a whole.
This new edition follows the scheme of the first edition of the book. As was stated in the first edition, the principal aim of this book is to contribute to a better understanding of the Australian judiciary. Australians are entitled to engage in critical discussions about the judicial branch of government, as is befitting a healthy democracy; however, when they do so, it should be from an informed standpoint. Sir Gerard Brennan, Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia 1995–8, said:
The judiciary, the least dangerous branch of government, has public confidence as its necessary but sufficient power base. It has not got, nor does it need the power of the purse or the power of the sword to make the rule of law effective, provided the people . . . have confidence in the exercise of the power of judgment.