John Jefferson Bray: A Vigilant Life.
John Jefferson Bray: A Vigilant Life
Monash University Publishing
c/o International Specialized Book Services
920 Northeast 58th Avenue, Suite 300, Portland, OR, 97213
9781922235619, $39.95, www.amazon.com
"John Jefferson Bray: A Vigilant Life" by John Emerson is the 271 page biography of The Honorable Dr. John Jefferson Bray, AC (16 September 1912-26 June 1995) who was an Australian lawyer, an academic and a published poet, and who, from 1967-1978, served as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of South Australia. In March 1967, South Australian Premier Don Dunstan appointed his State's most outstanding barrister as Chief Justice: John Jefferson Bray. In public, Bray's appointment brought barely a ripple, but in the murky urban waters of Adelaide's corridors of power, this decision unleashed waves of outrage and bitter revenge seeking. After his successful defense of Rupert Murdoch's News in 1960 in a seditious libel case, John Jefferson Bray made a powerful enemy who coveted the position that Chief Justice Bray would come to hold; an enemy who would then ruthlessly target Bray's unconventional private life. Conditions would eventually lead to the sacking of a police commissioner, the resignation of Dunstan, and the early retirement of Bray. "John Jefferson Bray: A Vigilant Life" is the story of an extraordinarily gifted man whose judicial writings continue to be cited across the Commonwealth and who was determined to defend not only his own natural right to a private life, but that of all citizens. Enhanced with the inclusion of an Appendix (John Bray's Response to the Police Surveillance Files); a two page Bibliography; and a two-page Index of Selected Proper names and Specific Terms, "John Jefferson Bray: A Vigilant Life" is highly recommended for academic library 20th Century Biography collections in general, and 20th Century Australian Legal History supplemental studies lists in particular.