Thoughts and memories

Recollections regarding Professor W. L. Morison

It was delightful to hear from an old friend's son, but sad to hear about the passing of your Dad.
He was a rare bird, and I will always carry around in my mind's eye the cheerful twinkle (bordering on the mischievous) that he usually carried in his eye.
WFF 'N PROOF continues to struggle along; my oldest son is probably the one that will convert it into a roaring commercial success. I just enjoy playing.


Layman E. Allen
Professor of Law and Senior Research Scientist, University of Michigan
Up to a little challenge that may benefit youngsters and adults in your family?

I was a student of Professor Morison's, at the University of Sydney Law School, in 1973.

In the teaching stakes, first, Professor Morison, daylight second. Vale Prof Morison.

David Reid

I am the current owner of 63 greene ave, ryde. I have owned the property since 1976. I believe that Professor Morison was the first owner from early in the 1950s.

I offer my condolences to the family, it seems that he was a very fine man. There is a large jacaranda tree and two lovely magnolias on the property and they give us much joy each year. It is likely that he planted them, in which case I would like to thank him. Perhaps these trees are just a little more of the memorial he left behind him.

yours very sincerely,

ray hudson.

In 1980 I attended Prof Morison's lectures on Legal Institutions. My most striking impression of him was his apparent great age. He always wore a hat, a green hat if I remember rightly. The hat seemed as old as he seemed. Actually he would have been aged fifty-nine, and so not terribly old at all.

I loved his lectures. At the time, I hadn't intended to be a lawyer. I think he decided me. Prof. Morison loved the law and he communicated this love to his students. I met him again at the John Anderson lectures a few years ago. He looked old, but I don't think he looked any older.

Profs Webber and Sappideen both seem to indicate that he was interested in sociological law. I suppose it depends on what you mean by sociological law but in the sense of the function of the law as being an instrument for social behaviour engineering, I have a gut feeling that he would have hated the concept. I was a student of Anderson (I began my legal studies at an advanced age) and I am quite sure that he would have considered it as anathema, and I certainly consider it so - perhaps I am merely reading my own attitudes into his. I am intensely interested in jurisprudence as was the late professor, and I suggest that perhaps a series of memorial lectures could be arranged where amongst other topics his attitudes to sociological law could be explored.

Geoff Leonard

Lord Denning Calypso

Celebrating Lord Denning's 81st (.. and a halfth.. ed) birthday, the Sydney University Law School birthday party took many forms. Far the most extraordinary was a celebratory setting to stanza by Professor W. L. Morison of the decision in Johnson v. Davis [1979] [1979] AC 264 in which the House of Lords took a dim view (not for the first time) of some of Lord Denning's innovations. A sample verse will whet the appetite of those Morison Students who have an unduly staid impression of that distinguished Professor. Referring to Jenny Davis' case, and to the tune of 'Island in the Sun' it goes:

Now Jenny'd left the flat
Lord Denning's heart went pit-a-pat
His brethren's holdings had to go
And with them Young v. Bristol Aeroplane Co

Verses of equal poetic and legal beauty follow.

From Reform, magazine of The Law Reform Commission, October 1980
Editor Justice Kirby
Lord Denning and judicial reform, p115

My sympathies to you and your family.

I was a student of Professor Morison's in 1973. Torts was a first year subject in the 4 year LLB and perhaps the most unfamilar in subject matter to naive students straight from high school.

However, your father's excellent teaching (with a little help from the judgments of Lord Denning) meant that Torts was a worthy rival in popularity to the weird and wonderful tales of human nature we studied in criminal law.

From your father more than others I gained a real and abiding respect of the Common Law that has stayed with me even though I have move out of mainstream legal practice.

Small consolation for your loss perhaps, but another example of your father's positive influence on many a generation of lawyers.

Ronwyn North

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