Mark Tedeschi QC, Senior Crown Prosecutor, has built on his previous success with the book Eugenia and continued writing about some significant trials in Australian Legal History with the publication of Kidnapped, the story of the Graeme Thorne kidnapping and death in July 1960. It’s a fascinating story and a landmark case. Further details are available at: ‘Kidnapped’ by Mark Tedeschi QC
The Newsletter of the Francis Forbes Society
The Forbes Flyer is designed to be an informative reference source for members of the Forbes Society. It contains information about events of historical significance, articles about legal research and details of future lectures and other activities the Forbes Society.
The latest edition, No.32 (Spring/Summer 2016), is available here . No 32 Spring Summer 2015-2016
- The Forbes Flyer Issue No 32 features:· History reports itself
· The 2015 Forbes Lecture in Sydney
· Results of the 2015-2016 Australian Legal History Essay Competition
· The Holt Prize
· The Civil Procedure legislation 10 years on
· Constitution patriotism in Adelaide
· The Block and the land of coincidence
· New books
· Spring & Summer Quarters
Society member, Michael Pelly, has released a book on the life of former Chief Justice of the High Court, Murray Gleeson. The book was launched in Sydney on 27 May 2014 and is available through Federation press. Further details on the book can be obtained by accessing the relevant section on the Federation Press Website. Go to
David Ash has written a Review of the book. Please click on the link to read what David has written: Murray Gleeson – The Smiler
From time to time the Society convenes for its members and friends a “Legal History Discussion Group” meeting in the premises of the NSW Bar Association. These meetings (held in the evening, commencing at 5.30pm and concluding no later than 7.00pm) provide a forum in which people interested in legal history can learn of recent developments, present papers and exchange ideas.
This database contains information on all 3,171 capital convictions handed down in New South Wales from 1788-1954. Nearly one third of those convictions resulted in executions.
The database contains searchable particulars on prisoner, victim, conviction, and execution. These categories can be used in tandem, allowing the researcher to narrow down specific criminal cases, or track patterns over time. A general search function finds hits in the entire database.
We hope that it will herald future projects in law, history, criminology, socio-legal studies, and genealogy.
The Capital Convictions database was funded by the Francis Forbes Society for Australian Legal History. The database brings together a wealth of material collected through many years of historical research. The database is the compilation of the research of Dr Ken Macnab (University of Sydney), Sydney solicitor and barrister Tim Castle, and Dr Amanda Kaladelfos (Arts NSW Archival Research Fellow and Research Fellow at ARC Centre of Excellence in Policing and Security, Griffith University). This project greatly benefited from the research assistance of students and graduates of the University of Newcastle and University of Sydney: Justin Gill, Bianca D’Angelo, Emma Warren, Sarah Dunstan, Courtney O’Regan, and Joe Campbell.
Clink on the link: http://research.forbessociety.org.au/ to access to the database
The Society aims to bring together scholars, lawyers and the general public interested in Legal History. It sponsors lectures, competitions, research projects and a variety of seminars and discussion groups.
Please view our section About Us for information concerning our Council members.
Sir Francis Forbes was the first Chief Justice of New South Wales and worked hard to establish the legal framework for the new colony. Further details are in our Biography Section.
MEMBERSHIP 2018 / 2019
Membership Information and forms for the 2018/2019 year are available in the Membership page above or click on the following links:
The Society welcomes donations to support research activities, such as that outlined in the Current Research Page of this Website. Anyone wishing to donate should download the following form: Forbes Fund Donation Form
The Select Cases 1828-1863 Project, undertaken by the Forbes Society in conjunction with Macquarie University, through ongoing work of Brent Salter and Emeritus Professor Bruce Kercher in consultation with Dr Lisa Ford, has advanced to a stage where, subject to funding, the Society can proceed to publication. The Society hopes to be able to move, in 2013, towards publication of two volumes following upon Kercher and Salter (eds), The Kercher Reports: Decisions of the New South Wales Superior Courts, 1788 to 1827 (Forbes Society, 2009/2010).