The aim of this thesis is to examine and compare the High Court judgments in constitutional cases of Latham and Evatt, and to trace any political attitudes inherent in these judgments. The method is comparative: each with the other and each with himself in a different period. Verbal analysis of the text of judgments has been the main tool, and the thesis is based on some 150 cases. Considerations of space have precluded the inclusion of much interesting political narrative of the careers of each man, butt a brief description has been provided.
There is an obvious danger in a thesis such as this, of arguments of the post hoc ergo propter hoc variety creeping in. May I now issue a general disclaimer. What I have endeavoured to show is coincidence and consistency of views, and I have tried to use those words.
Another danger in relying upon verbal analysis is that people don't always mean what they say. This is particularly true of statements in Parliament. Nevertheless I have relied on these where, in my judgment, it seemed reasonably safe to do so, on the basis of the "best evidence” rule.
Originally it was intended to include workers compensation cases, and these were read. However judgments in these cases were always expressed in legalistic terms, and no headway was made. These cases are included in Appendix IV for collectively, the decisions provide an interesting point. In other fields, the amount written has been dictated by the amount of material available and particularly by the number of cases heard by either man. In chapter VI, for example, more is written on Latham because he heard twelve cases on individual liberties compared with Evatt's five. ……………………