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Appointment to the High Court

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PRESS STATEMENT NO, 9 February 1975


The Attorney-General, Senator Lionel Murphy, Q.C., has been appointed a Justice of the High Court of Australia.

Senator Murphy, 52, has been Attorney-General, Minister for Customs and Excise and Leader of the Government in the Senate since 1972. He was appointed Queen's Counsel in 1960.

He is the fifth Australian Attorney-General to become a Justice of the High Court.

Senator Murphy became a Senator for New South Wales in 1961 and was Leader of the Opposition in the Senate from 1967 to 1972.

He was educated at Sydney Boys High School and the University of Sydney where he graduated as a Bachelor of Laws with honours and a Bachelor of Science with honours. He was admitted to the New South Wales Bar in 1947.

Since he has been Attorney-General, Senator Murphy has introduced some of the most important legislation and law reform measures to come before the Parliament.

This includes the Trade Practices Act, the Family Law Bill, the Corporations and Securities Industries Bill and the Racial Discrimination Bill.

As Attorney-General he led the legal team which successfully argued Australia's first case before the International Court of Justice to prevent further atmospheric nuclear testing by the French in the South Pacific.

He established the Australian Legal Aid Office, a project which ensures that all Australians will not be denied access to the courts because of lack of money.

He also introduced legislation establishing the Law Reform Commission of Australia and a national Legislative Drafting Institute.

His first legislative proposal was a Bill to have the Death Penalty abolished for offences under Federal law.

Senator Murphy resigned as a member of the Australian Senate this evening.