Professor Jenny Hocking waged a ten-year campaign and a four-year legal battle to force the National Archives of Australia to release the letters written by Governor General John Kerr to the Queen during one of the most divisive episodes in the nation’s history – the dismissal. In May 2020, despite being opposed by the Archives, Buckingham Palace, and the full resources of the federal government, she won her historic case in the High Court.
The Palace Letters is the ground-breaking account of her indomitable fight. Drawing on material from the Palace letters, Kerr’s archives, and her submissions to the courts, Hocking traces the collusion and deception behind the dismissal, and charts the secret role of High Court judges, the leader of the opposition, Malcolm Fraser, and the Queen’s private secretary in fostering and supporting Kerr’s actions.
Jenny Hocking is emeritus professor at Monash University, Distinguished Whitlam Fellow at the Whitlam Institute at Western Sydney University, and Gough Whitlam’s award-winning biographer. Her appeal against the decision of the Federal Court in the Palace letters case was upheld by the High Court on 29 May 2020.