Conversing about Judge Willis

Well, I wasn’t struck dumb with nerves, so now I can divulge that I was on the Conversation Hour this morning, with Jon Faine and Damien Carrick (from RN’s Law Report)  along with Richard Broome and Simon Smith.

Should you wish to hear it, you can listen at

My part starts at 12.22.  The first section features Damien Carrick discussing assisted suicide in Belgium, so if you might find this topic distressing, you may want to skip ahead.


14 responses to “Conversing about Judge Willis

  1. Nice launch of the casebooks but a pity the Chief Justice didn’t know that his name was John rather than Walpole.
    Tony Hargreaves.

    • Yes- I’m not quite sure where “Judge Walpole Willis” came from, because he was certainly John. Still, it was a good night, and I’m glad that Paul Mullaly received the acclamation that he deserves so richly for the work he’s done.

      • Tony Hargreaves

        Have you written on 12 Apostles at this stage – would like to see it if you have. Tony

      • No I haven’t- just the ‘Getting to the Bottom of Financial Impropriety’ article when was in the Journal of Historical and European Studies, which is online. I don’t know that I’m going to have much space in the thesis to go into it.

      • For some reason several sources I’ve seen- even contemporary ones, such as newspapers- seem to have made the error of assuming that ‘Walpole Willis’ was a compound surname; of course, as it sounds perhaps somewhat more distinguished than ‘John Willis’, the judge himself might not have discouraged this misinterpretation, given his character… Considering the trivial reason for even having ‘Walpole’ as a middle name, at least he got some mileage from it!

      • Thank you for visiting and commenting. I haven’t seen other references to ‘Walpole Willis’ before, although I must admit that I wasn’t looking for it. I’m sure that he was quite happy to bathe in Walpole’s glory!

  2. What a font of news you are Janine! Well done! For those who don’t want to listen to the entire podcast, the Judge Willis segment starts at 12:22.

    There has been good interest in the Judge Willis Casebooks website on Twitter from family historians. It has also been retweeted by an English historian. As you have shown, his life and work is part of the history of many places in the world.

    • Thank you. I should imagine that the Case Names part on the Judge Willis Casebooks site will be very valuable for family historians.

      • Yes, that has captured the interest of family historians. I searched for my ancestor but alas, he still eludes us because he doesn’t seem to have been caught up in any way with the legal system. A convict would be easier to research.

      • I just thought… It might be an idea to warn people that the first 12 minutes of the podcast is about assisted suicide in Belgium and so may be distressing to some listeners. I think the ABC should have a warning about this on their website.

      • Good idea

  3. I can’t listen to radio all day as I used and so missed your radio debut. I have downloaded the podcast and will listen later.

  4. It took me a while, but tick it off now. Although I knew much already from reading here, it was interesting to have it put together in summary. I am sure those who knew nothing found it informative. John and Damien both seem well read about the Judge.

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