blind miceBreaking with common law tradition (which didn’t provide a right of appeal), NSW introduced legislation in 1911 which ultimately created the Court of Criminal Appeal. The following ditty (entitled “Three Blind Mice”) which is recited in Keith Mason’s book “Old Law, New Law” is said to reflect that by the 1930s most appellants were self-represented and most fared badly. The Judges referred to are their Honours, Sir Frederick Jordan (Chief Justice), Sir Percival Halse-Rogers and Sir Thomas Bavin (who was also premiere of NSW 1927-1930)


Aloof and austere, august and severe

Sir Freddy, Sir Perc and Sir Tom

Administer the law as applied to the poor

With dignity, grace and aplomb.

The trinity deals with the man who appeals

And lest he should do something worse – he

Is led back to gaol all trembling and pale

By Sir Freddy, Sir Tom and Sir Percy.

To allow an appeal is not in the deal

To dismiss one they’re always quite ready

So I’d tremble with fear if I had to appear

Cor: Sir Percy, Sir Tom and Sir Freddy


Creative commons acknowledgment for the photograph.

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