Cancel culture comes to one of Australia’s founding fathers



Recently, efforts have been made to “cancel” the figures related to Australia’s European settlement.

The statue of Captain James Cook, who discovered and claimed the east coast of the continent in 1770, was polluted. Captain Arthur Phillip, the first governor of the New South Wales colony, was an Australian “invader”, despite having friendly relationships with indigenous peoples and doing his best to learn a lot about them, Vitriol. Was directed. Language and culture as much as possible. In fact, when Philip returned to England in 1792, two indigenous men, Bennelong (named Bennelong Point and the federal constituency in Sydney), were accompanied by Jen Melawan.

Cancel culture is now one of the most important figures in Australian history and has come for Sir Samuel Walker Griffith, the founder of the country.

Born in Wales, Griffith came to Australia at the age of eight. He studied law at the University of Sydney, succeeded as a barrister, then turned to politics and was elected to the Parliament of Queensland in 1871. Within three years he was promoted to Prosecutor General and oversaw many important reforms. , Includes a bill to legalize trade unions.

Griffith served as Queensland’s Prime Minister twice between 1883 and 1893, and resigned that year to become Supreme Court Justice. Perhaps the most lasting achievement of his time as Chief Justice is the drafting of criminal law. It was first in Australia and has since been adopted in other states and countries.

Epoch Times Photo
Sir Samuel Walker Griffith, Premier of Queensland, who was the leader behind the Australian Constitution. (AAP image)

Sir Samuel, who represents the codification of British criminal law at the time, was inspired for this from his time in Italy in the 1860s, based on the Italian criminal law of the time known as the Zanardeli Code (after the Minister of Justice). I pulled out. At that time, Giuseppe Zanardeli). A good linguist and literary man, Griffith also wrote the first English translation of Dante Alighieri’s “Hell” in 1908, a few years later.

During the time of the Supreme Court of Queensland, Sir Samuel Griffith was an avid supporter of the Commonwealth. In fact, he drafted the Constitutional Draft of the Australian Federation adopted at the 1897 Constitutional Assembly, while at the same time providing advice and support, including lobbying British politicians to support the Commonwealth.

With the establishment of the Commonwealth in 1901, attention was paid to the establishment of a legal system for the infant state, which included the High Court of Australia. Sir Samuel was elected Australia’s first Supreme Court Justice in 1903, and he served until 1918.

Therefore, he played an essential role in ensuring the government system that made Australia one of the most stable, prosperous and long-lasting liberal democracy in the world.

In recognition of his achievements, the university, the city of New South Wales, the suburbs of Canberra, and the federal constituency were named after him. The Samuel Griffith Society, Australia’s most important legal association, was also named after his honor.

However, Sir Samuel Griffith’s cancel culture is coming. A Symposium It was recently held at Griffith University in response to the controversial writer Henry Reynolds’ book. At the event, it was proposed to remove Sir Samuel’s name from the colleges, suburbs, and federal constituencies that own it.

Sir Samuel’s alleged crime? Being an “enabler” of the slaughter for not doing enough to stop skirmishes between Europeans and indigenous peoples in his time as Queensland Attorney General and Prime Minister.In other words, it is argued that Samuel Griffith should be canceled for things. He didn’tNot to be accused of what he did.

Griffith University Gold Coast Australia
Griffith University is located in Queensland, Australia. (Kgbo [CC BY-SA 4.0 (]From Wikimedia Commons)

As pointed out by Xavier Bofa, Managing Director of the Samuel Griffith Society, broader cultural norms are at stake here.

In a newsletter to that member, Bofa wrote:

“Just as any thought of Samuel Griffith and other public figures can recognize the talents of great athletes, artists and musicians without necessarily supporting all actions and beliefs. , We should be able to separate the clear goodness done by them. Those who came before us from the discussion about the more conflicting aspects of their heritage.

“Furthermore, to acknowledge and commemorate Samuel Griffith’s significant contribution to our country, we do not have to agree with everything Samuel Griffith did or believed. Indeed, Sir Samuel. Was regarded as a liberal reformer who worked with both conservatives and trade unions at different times to ban the import of foreign workers and use the army to disperse strikes and demonstrations. “

Regardless of what Samuel Griffith did or did not, a rational person can only agree with Bofa. As the first author of the Constitution and the first presiding judge of the High Court, Australia and its people have given Sir Samuel a great deal of attention to our sound democracy and responsible government system, the structure of federalism, and the constitutional separation. I would like to express my gratitude. Power and rule of law.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.

Rocco Roiacono


Rocco Loiacono is a senior instructor and translator from Italian to English at Curtin University Law School in Perth, Australia. His work on translation, linguistics, and law is widely published in peer-reviewed journals.