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Resignation of Solicitor-General

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F > m M E mihllSTER



19 November 1973


The Prime Minister today announced the resignation of the Solicitor-General, Mr R.J. Ellicott, Q.C., to take effect from Friday 23 November. . ' . -

The Prime Minister said that Mr Ellicott proposed to return to private practice as a barrister in Sydney. He has also informed the Prime Minister and the Attorney-General that he was considering seeking pre-selection from the Liberal Party for one of the Federal Seats in New South Wales, for which nominations had recently been called. Mr Ellicott thought that the proper course to take was to resign as Solicitor-General before seeking pre-selection.

The Prime Minister said Mr Ellicott had given most distinguished legal service to the Australian Government.

He was appointed as Solicitor-General by the Gorton Government in 1969. Under the Labor Government Mr Ellicott had appeared with the Attorney-General before the International Court of Justice in the proceedings brought by Australia against France

concerning nuclear testing in the Pacific.

Mr Ellicott had recently visited England and Europe in connection with the next stages of this important case. It was intended that he would again be. a member of the Australian team when further oral argument was presented to the International Court

next year. · 1

Mr Ellicott had .been singularly successful also in his advocacy on behalf of the Australian Government in constitutional cases before the High Court. An outstanding instance was the Pay-roll Tax case in 1970.

He had led the Australian delegations that negotiated · the seabed and land boundary agreements with Indonesia. He had also represented Australia regularly and with great effect in the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law. .

The Prime Minister said that he had conveyed to Mr Ellicott the Attorney-General1s and his own warm appreciation of the services he had given.