Walking On Water: A Life In The Law

November 1, 2020
Walking On Water: A Life In The Law

Reflections and rumblings on human nature and the law from oneof Australia's longest serving criminal defence barristers, oncenicknamed 'The Smiling Funnelweb', Chester Porter QC.Chester Porter's life in the law began in 1948, when at the ageof 21 he was the youngest lawyer to be admitted to the Bar. He tooksilk in 1974 and quickly became known as Sydney's best defencelawyer, shunning the courtroom theatricals favoured by many of hisrivals.'Young Chester' was the man others would go to if they werein strife.Chester's most famous cases included successfully defending the'once only's' such as Detective Sgt Roger Rogerson on briberycharges, and Judge John Foord who was accused of attempting topervert the course of justice. He was counsel assisting theNorthern Territory Commissions of Inquiry into the convictions ofLindy and Michael Chamberlain. After clocking up scores oflegendary victories, some of Macquarie Street's more larrikinlawyers produced a limited edition t- shirt with 'Chester PorterWalks on Water'- a slogan that sums up an illustrious career thatspanned more than 50 years.This is not merely a reflection of human nature at its worst butalso an overview of how the law has changed and developed over theyears. From the McDermott Royal Commission to the reform offorensic evidence and the future of the law in Australia, this isthe long-awaited memoir from one of Australia's most respectedQC's.