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The riveting autobiography from Australia’s inimitable Geoffrey Robertson. Funny, personal, and bringing Robertson's fascinating and colourful career up to date following The Justice Game.

In this witty, engrossing and sometimes poignant memoir, a sequel to his best-selling The Justice Game, Australia’s inimitable Geoffrey Robertson charts his progress from pimply state schoolboy to top Old Bailey barrister and thence onwards and upwards to a leading role in the struggle for human rights throughout the world.

He wryly observes the absurdities of growing up as one of ‘Ming’s kids’; the passion of student protest in the sixties and his early crusades for ‘Down Under-dogs’, before leaving on a Rhodes Scholarship to combat the British establishment, with the help of John Mortimer of ‘Rumpole’ fame. There are dramatic accounts of fighting for lives on death rows, freeing dissidents and taking on tyrants, armed only with a unique mind and a passion for justice – on display whenever he boomeranged back to Australia to conduct Geoffrey Robertson’s Hypotheticals.

His is an amazing life story of David and Goliath battles – riveting, laugh-out-loud tales filled with romance and danger, featuring a cast of characters ranging from General Pinochet to Pee-Wee Herman; from Malcolm Turnbull to Mike Tyson; from Nigella Lawson to Kathy Lette and Julian Assange. Throughout his exploits – recounted here with irreverent humour and dashes of true wisdom – Geoffrey Robertson has remained determinedly independent and his own man. He has also, in respect of human rights, changed the way we think.

Reviews

If Robin Hood, King Arthur, St George, Florence Nightingale and Oscar Wilde were compressed into one witty, brilliant and compassionate lawyer, they still wouldn't come close to approximating the heroic champion of our laws and liberties that is the great Geoffrey Robertson. What a life and how crackingly well told. When a heart-stoppingly unputdownable comedy thriller turns out to be a truthful account of a real life, you know you're on to a winner.

Stephen Fry

Before I read Geoffrey’s brilliant book, I thought a barrister was a guy who made expensive coffee. I’m much wiser now.

Billy Connolly

Geoff is one of the choice and master spirits of the age. Written with all the wit and style you'd expect, this is a delightful, absorbing memoir of a life well lived.

Mike Carlton

Be thankful that Geoffrey Robertson is ‘rather his own man’. Reliable Memoirs tells of legal battles for human rights won and lost in the courts of London, Sierra Leone and the Hague. Witty, clever and compassionate, Geoffrey tell his personal story in the pursuit of the holy grail of social justice and the rule of law.

Gillian Triggs

An extraordinary insight … into one of the best minds of a generation

Courier-Mail

Captivating reading … entertaining and erudite throughout

Canberra Weekly

If you are seeking inspiration, look no farther than the memoirs of my colleague Geoffrey Robertson, QC, Rather His Own Man. While Robertson often casts an amused eye over his own cases, the essential part he plays in human rights legal history shines through. Robertson is an original and creative legal, social and political thinker. His writing, always provocative, is witty, engaging and at times laugh-out-loud funny. His tone slickly transits from gossip splashed around his celebrity pool to full battle cry. Kick back and enjoy the ride.

The Times - summer reads 2018

Display[s] not only his high intellect and admirable independence of thought, but literary flair and an unexpected self-deprecating side

Australian

As this scrupulously informed and charmingly written memoir proves, Geoffrey Robertson, AO, QC, is far more entertaining than some lawyers dare to be and far more literate than some writers have the right to be

Sydney Morning Herald

Robertson reflects on a life of love, laughter and litigation with the charm and humour of an adept dinner party conversationalist

Sun-Herald

Thoroughly entertaining. Robertson has won countless famous legal victories and helped to change attitudes to human rights far beyond these shores. He is an epic raconteur … It’s a book that might persuade a young person that the law need not be a dull profession

Sunday Times

A rare legal autobiography that entertains, informs and inspires. Robertson’s talents, as a lawyer and as an author, are to seduce the judge, jury or reader by his exceptional command of language and rhetoric, and his ability to ridicule his opponent’s case out of court … He has played a significant part in changing legal culture

The Times

Riveting. [Robertson]’s contemporaries at the bar will read these memoirs with envy; others with almost as much enjoyment as his eminent entourage attests to on the dustjacket.

Spectator (UK)

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Formats & editions

  • Trade Paperback

    9780143784081

    January 8, 2019

    Vintage Australia

    400 pages

    RRP $34.99

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Amazon
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • Hardback

    9780143784074

    February 26, 2018

    Knopf Australia

    400 pages

    RRP $45.00

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Amazon
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • Audio Download

    9780143792369

    March 1, 2018

    Penguin Random House Australia Audio

    RRP $32.99

    Online retailers

    • Audible
    • Google Play
  • EBook

    9780143784098

    February 26, 2018

    Random House Australia

    400 pages

    Online retailers

    • iBooks
    • Amazon Kindle
    • Booktopia
    • eBooks
    • Google Play
    • Kobo
Article
Peeling Back the Layers

Some delightful details of the multifaceted life of Geoffrey Robertson.

Also by Geoffrey Robertson