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Book Review: The Stuart Affair

Book Review: The Stuart Affair AUST. & N.Z. JOURNAL OF CRIMINOLOGY (December, 1973): 6, 4 needed revision of present arrangements" which seemed to imply the opposite. This to which he refers. certainly the "frag.. extreme bias is not surprising since the mented services" described by Dr. Ellis, author was counsel for the prosecution in the Stuart trials and the Royal Com­ the Director of Mental Health Services, would be considerably improved by giving mission which followed. effect to the suggestions made by Mr. The author is an arch-conservative. He Williams during the debate on his motion dismisses the popular movement for the acquittal of Stuart as stirred up by left viz: to follow the South Australian model wing elements, sensationalist pressmen, and establish a co-ordinating Board, a detoxification unit, reception centre and and "intellectuals who knew very little a short term hospital for alcoholics. about the methods of the detection of crime", He sees his work as a holy T. R. CARNEY, crusade in defence of the establishment. Senior Teaching Fellow, " . . . I was defending the honour and Monash University, integrity of the South Australian Govern­ Victoria. ment, its Police Force, and indeed the very institutions on which the adrninistra­ tion of justice depends". The reader who opens this book hoping Book Reviews to learn something new vabout the Aus­ tralian criminal justice system will almost certainly be disappointed. However, the reader who would appreciate a Perry The Stuart Affair. Sir Roderic Chamber­ Mason style court drama which happens lain, Rigby, Sydney, 1973, $7.50, 312 pp. to be true, and who does not mind some "RAPE,rnurder, lies, an appeal to the conservative bias, will find the author's Queen, seven stays of execution, alleged story an absorbing one. police brutality, charges of libel - all 1. Decision for parole, August 15, 19'73; these were part of Australia's notorious released October 18, 1973. Stuart Affair." This is how the pub­ JOHN BRAITHWAITE, lisher's blurb describes Sir Roderic Bris-bane. Chamberlain's book. It is perhaps an over-dramatic description, but for those who appreciate courtroom drama and human interest the book has something to offer. Abstracts The author describes from 'beginning to end the story of the 'conviction of Max Stuart for the rape and murder of nine­ year-old Mary Hattam, of Ceduna, South Australia, in 1958. Stuart is still serving The Management of Criminals in Aus­ a life sentence for the murder, having tralia, Australian Social Welfare, Decem­ finally had his death sentence commuted ber 1972, by Stanley W. Johnston. by the Premier of South Australia.tu Canberra} a city approaching a popula­ Stuart's supporters still claim that the tion of 200,aoo} has no prison yet. The only evidence against him was his own author suggests that the Australian confession, and that this was forced out government, perhaps in connection with of him by police violence. Since Stuart the new government institute of was an Aborigine, this generated a public criminology, might establish there a furore about persecution of Aborigines teaching prison, along the line'S of a and police brutality. teaching hospital, and provide the States Mr. (now Professor) T. J. Strehlow, an with a model of conscious planning and expert on Aboriginal linguistics, claimed experimentation in this demoralised area that the linguistic structure of Stuart's of public administration. confession was such that it 'could not have been made by a person of his back­ Hitherto the Commonwealth, unlike the ground. Mr. and MrS4 A. Wardrop claimed federal governments in the U.S.A. and that Senior Constable F. Whitrod admitted Canada} has taken no interest in sen­ on two separate occasions to the use of tencing but, under Section 120 of the violence by the police. Constitution. has relied on the sentencing The legal battles that ensued are re­ facilities of the States, The author called in considerable detail by the author. tabulates the sentencing provisions of the They are described in an overtly biased Commonwealth Crimes Act and Customs manner, with much emphasis being placed Act and proposes a rationalisation of upon evidence which pointed to Stuart's them, for application across the whole guilt and lesser emphasis on evidence statute book. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Australian & New Zealand Journal of Criminology SAGE

Book Review: The Stuart Affair

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Publisher
SAGE
Copyright
Copyright © by SAGE Publications
ISSN
0004-8658
eISSN
1837-9273
DOI
10.1177/000486587300600411
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

AUST. & N.Z. JOURNAL OF CRIMINOLOGY (December, 1973): 6, 4 needed revision of present arrangements" which seemed to imply the opposite. This to which he refers. certainly the "frag.. extreme bias is not surprising since the mented services" described by Dr. Ellis, author was counsel for the prosecution in the Stuart trials and the Royal Com­ the Director of Mental Health Services, would be considerably improved by giving mission which followed. effect to the suggestions made by Mr. The author is an arch-conservative. He Williams during the debate on his motion dismisses the popular movement for the acquittal of Stuart as stirred up by left viz: to follow the South Australian model wing elements, sensationalist pressmen, and establish a co-ordinating Board, a detoxification unit, reception centre and and "intellectuals who knew very little a short term hospital for alcoholics. about the methods of the detection of crime", He sees his work as a holy T. R. CARNEY, crusade in defence of the establishment. Senior Teaching Fellow, " . . . I was defending the honour and Monash University, integrity of the South Australian Govern­ Victoria. ment, its Police Force, and indeed the very institutions on which the adrninistra­ tion of justice depends". The reader who opens this book hoping Book Reviews to learn something new vabout the Aus­ tralian criminal justice system will almost certainly be disappointed. However, the reader who would appreciate a Perry The Stuart Affair. Sir Roderic Chamber­ Mason style court drama which happens lain, Rigby, Sydney, 1973, $7.50, 312 pp. to be true, and who does not mind some "RAPE,rnurder, lies, an appeal to the conservative bias, will find the author's Queen, seven stays of execution, alleged story an absorbing one. police brutality, charges of libel - all 1. Decision for parole, August 15, 19'73; these were part of Australia's notorious released October 18, 1973. Stuart Affair." This is how the pub­ JOHN BRAITHWAITE, lisher's blurb describes Sir Roderic Bris-bane. Chamberlain's book. It is perhaps an over-dramatic description, but for those who appreciate courtroom drama and human interest the book has something to offer. Abstracts The author describes from 'beginning to end the story of the 'conviction of Max Stuart for the rape and murder of nine­ year-old Mary Hattam, of Ceduna, South Australia, in 1958. Stuart is still serving The Management of Criminals in Aus­ a life sentence for the murder, having tralia, Australian Social Welfare, Decem­ finally had his death sentence commuted ber 1972, by Stanley W. Johnston. by the Premier of South Australia.tu Canberra} a city approaching a popula­ Stuart's supporters still claim that the tion of 200,aoo} has no prison yet. The only evidence against him was his own author suggests that the Australian confession, and that this was forced out government, perhaps in connection with of him by police violence. Since Stuart the new government institute of was an Aborigine, this generated a public criminology, might establish there a furore about persecution of Aborigines teaching prison, along the line'S of a and police brutality. teaching hospital, and provide the States Mr. (now Professor) T. J. Strehlow, an with a model of conscious planning and expert on Aboriginal linguistics, claimed experimentation in this demoralised area that the linguistic structure of Stuart's of public administration. confession was such that it 'could not have been made by a person of his back­ Hitherto the Commonwealth, unlike the ground. Mr. and MrS4 A. Wardrop claimed federal governments in the U.S.A. and that Senior Constable F. Whitrod admitted Canada} has taken no interest in sen­ on two separate occasions to the use of tencing but, under Section 120 of the violence by the police. Constitution. has relied on the sentencing The legal battles that ensued are re­ facilities of the States, The author called in considerable detail by the author. tabulates the sentencing provisions of the They are described in an overtly biased Commonwealth Crimes Act and Customs manner, with much emphasis being placed Act and proposes a rationalisation of upon evidence which pointed to Stuart's them, for application across the whole guilt and lesser emphasis on evidence statute book.

Journal

Australian & New Zealand Journal of CriminologySAGE

Published: Dec 1, 1973

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