Daryl Dawson

Daryl Dawson

Judge Less

Daryl Dawson

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Sir Daryl Michael Dawson, AC, KBE, CB (born 12 December 1933) Australian judge and naval officer, was a Justice of the High Court of Australia from 1982 to 1997.


Dawson studied at the University of Melbourne, residing at Ormond College and received a Bachelor of Laws with honours. He later completed a Master of Laws at Yale University.

Legal career

Dawson was admitted to the Victorian Bar in 1957 (and later to the Tasmanian Bar in 1972). In the 1960s, Dawson was commander of the Royal Australian Navy's legal service in Melbourne, holding the rank of lieutenant commander in the Naval Reserve. Dawson was appointed a Queen's Counsel in 1971. From 1974 to 1982, Dawson served as the Solicitor-General of Victoria.

Judicial career

Dawson was a member of the Australian Motor Sport Appeal Court from 1974 to 1986, and was the chairman of this court in 1987. In 1982, Dawson was appointed a Justice of the High Court of Australia, a position he held until retiring on 15 August 1997. He was the only justice in dissent in the case of Mabo v. Queensland as well as Commercial Bank of Australia v Amadio. This is how he got the nickname Dissenting Dawson. He also dissented in Australian Capital Television v Commonwealth, holding there was no implied freedom of political communication...
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