...High Court Deliberations...
Following the delivery of the final submissions, the High Court Justices began the task of familiarising themselves with the vast amount of material presented to them. This material included the six volumes of plaintiffs' submissions, the detailed submissions from the defendant Queensland and the three volumes of Justice Moynihan's findings of fact. At the same time, the Justices were, of course, also occupied in the preparation for other forthcoming cases and in the writing of judgments in matters where all hearings had been completed.
The final hearing took place between 28th and 31st May 1991. It allowed counsel for both the plaintiffs and Queensland to lead the Court through their written submissions. The Judges also have the opportunity to closely question counsel, to probe the strength of the case. The pressure can be intense. As the senior barrister for the plaintiffs, Ron Castan QC would have been acutely aware that the fate of the case, a decade of work and the hopes of both his clients and the Meriam people rested in his hands.
Keywords: Castan, Ron, High Court of Australia, Moynihan's findings, Queensland, Queensland Government, 1991
Author: Kenna, Jonathan