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Abstract

This paper examines the philosophical and political orientation of Thomas McCawley ─ a judge of the Queensland Supreme Court and a member of the Queensland Industrial Court in the early part of the twentieth century. McCawley’s appointment to the Queensland Supreme Court has often been considered to be a controversial ‘political’ one that was made by the then State Labor Ryan Government to implement labourist political policy. His appointment was perceived to be made at the time in preference to other more senior and better qualified lawyers. Many contemporary academics have subsequently agreed with this interpretation and have regarded McCawely’s appointment to the Queensland Supreme Court bench as an essentially ‘political’ one that was made to ensure consistency between the political and the judicial branches of the Queensland Government.

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