Justice or Vengeance: Mary Jerram

Mary Jerram

TEDxSydney 2014 · 26 April 2014

We may say we seek justice if we are wronged or lose a loved one. But if we're honest, do we actually seek revenge? Mary Jerram was the first female coroner in New South Wales and now, only recently retired, she highlights numerous examples of how grieving, almost always enraged people struggle with the justice system, often leaving court with disbelief that the law 'is an ass'. But what the aggrieved may believe should be justice served is, Mary explains, more often than not vengeance sought. And the law won't give you that. In May 2007, Mary Jerram became the first female State Coroner of NSW. After six and a half years in this demanding role and more than 250 inquests, Mary retired in October 2013. Originally an English teacher, Mary's career subsequently included stints as a legal officer at the Independent Teachers' Union and as a senior advocate at the Legal Aid Commission, rising to become Deputy Chief Magistrate of the Local Court of New South Wales in 2000. Despite being a proud New Zealander by birth, Mary now lives on a small farm in the southern highlands south of Sydney.

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