Superfluous People

Research output: Contribution to journalBook/Film/Article review


The Baby Farmers by Annie Cossins is one of those rare works of legal history that is simultaneously engaging for specialist and non-specialist readers alike.96 It provides an elegant and deeply researched account of a series of inquiries into the disappearance, death and assumed murder of babies in 1890s Sydney. In doing so it provides insights about identity registration, about social welfare and about the regulation of fertility. It is a work that is of value for readers with an interest in evidence law and for first year law or justice studies students who are seeking a historical and emotional dimension to black letter rules. Its publication comes at a time when the number of adoptions in Australia has continued to decline (a mere 339 in 2013/13),97 we’ve seen conviction of elite athlete Keli Lane for the presumed murder of a newborn,98 and the welfare system is being wound back.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)223-224
Number of pages2
JournalCanberra Law Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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