Closed Casket

(by Sophie Hannah) (2016) For those whose guilty pleasure resided in Agatha Christie’s detective novels featuring the finicky Belgian, Hercule Poirot, we can recommend some of the better offerings from her oeuvre.*  She cheated with her plotting, but always ingeniously and within her own rules.  For those who want something new, or have ploughed through Christie’s seventy odd books already, Ms. Hannah has produced her second Poirot mystery, a homage to the Christie style and her most famous character. The scene of the crime is Lady Athelinda Playford’s mansion in County Cork, where family, staff, lawyers and detectives are summoned for…what?  A new Will, for…

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Fraying of the Golden Thread

October 17, 2016 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | CRIME, LIFE, POLITICS |

Sword of Damocles by Felix Auvray

(The 15th International Law Congress, Adelaide 12-16 October 2016) At the Congress on Thursday 13th, David Edwardson QC explained (with some warmth) that he had been able to take part in the congress’ panel discussion on varied perspectives in the criminal law because his trial scheduled for most of the month had gone off, as the Crown had delivered some 5 lever arch files of (hitherto called-for-but-not-produced) evidence to his chambers, a matter of a day or so before ‘the bounce’.  No doubt the inevitable adjournment is added to the South Australian Attorney-General’s stats on intolerable delays, which he will…

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Evil’s So Banal

October 16, 2016 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | CRIME, LIFE, POLITICS |

Undated File Photo: Nazi Criminal Adolph Eichmann In His Cell In Galami Prison, Near Haifa, Waiting For His Trial To Open. (Photo By Gpo/Getty Images)

The Varnished Culture continued to mix incognito with the great and the good of the criminal law, at the 15th International Criminal Law Congress in Adelaide, October 2016.  Here’s the retort of a layman to some of the contentions aired during this stimulating, engrossing and profound conference. Global Crime got in-depth treatment today, when we heard from Felicity Gerry QC on Human Trafficking and Criminal Justice, Alex Ward on the disparate criminal approaches among the Commonwealth nations, and William Smith on International Courts and Tribunals.  These speeches were really interesting and very depressing on a myriad levels.  One only has to hear…

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Half empty Glasses and the Law

October 14, 2016 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | CRIME, LIFE |

The Varnished Culture’s correspondent attended the 15th International Criminal Law Congress (disguised as a civilian) and reports on developments that should interest intelligent laypersons in general. After a more than usually genial ‘Welcome to Country’ by Uncle Lewis O’Brien, Kaurna Elder (a timeless indigenous ceremony invented by an activist circa 1976), Father Frank Brennan, Jesuit Priest, “Living National Treasure” and “Professor of Human Rights & Social Justice” gave a set speech, but a very learned, balanced and thoughtful one on the parlous state of indigenous Australia, which left your faithless TVC reporter completely bereft. Unable to defenestrate the grand truth (per Herr Hayek) that…

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Impressions – Jon-Benet Ramsey, 20 years on.

October 11, 2016 | Posted by Lesley Jakobsen | CRIME, LIFE |

The Ramsey Case Continues – the Burke Interview We recently wrote about the speculative case mounted in a CBS Special concerning the unsolved death of Jon Benét Ramsey. Since then we have had the opportunity to view the interview by Dr Phil McGraw with Burke Ramsey, now 29 years old. Recorded earlier this year and screened in September, the first half discloses no smoking pistol but by the same token, it adds fuel to the flame (pardon the mixed metaphors). Burke denies allegations of assaulting his sister, on the night she died or ever before. There will be some who find…

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