Honorary awards

The Hon Justice Margaret Beazley AO

The honorary degree of Doctor of Laws was conferred upon the Hon Justice Margaret Beazley AO by the Chancellor Her Excellency Professor Marie Bashir AC CVO at the Faculty of Law graduation ceremony held at 9.30am on 23 May 2008.

The Hon Justice Margaret Beazley AO

The Chancellor and the Hon Justice Margaret Beazley AO, photo, copyright Memento Photography.


Chancellor, I have the honour to present to you Justice Margaret Beazley AO for the conferring of the degree of Doctor of Laws (honoris causa).

Justice Beazley graduated with a Bachelor of Laws degree with honours from the University of Sydney in 1974. She was admitted to legal practice and was called to the Bar in 1975, commencing practice as a barrister. She took silk in 1989. In January 1993 Justice Beazley was appointed as a justice of the Federal Court of Australia, and in the following year she was also appointed as a justice of the Industrial Relations Court of Australia.

On 28 March 1996, Justice Beazley was sworn in as a Justice of the NSW Court of Appeal - the first woman to have been appointed a judge of this Court. To this day she remains one of Australia’s most senior women judges.

In the 2006 Queen’s Birthday Honours List, Justice Beazley was designated an Officer in the Order of Australia for “service to the judiciary and the law, particularly through contributions to professional and ethical standards, to the advancement of women in the legal profession and the community”.

Over and above her duties as a judge, in 1994-1995 Justice Beazley was appointed a consultant to the Australian Law Reform Commission’s reference on gender bias in the law. Justice Beazley serves on various other bodies, including, Chair of the NSW Chapter of the Australian Institute of Administrative Law; Executive Committee Member, Judicial Conference of Australia; Chair, Advisory Committee, “Equality Before the Law Bench Book”, Judicial Commission of New South Wales; Member, Planning Committee, International Association of Women Judges; Member, Women’s Advisory Network of the National Breast Cancer Council; Member of the Board of Governors, Queenwood School for Girls; Advisory Board Member, Centre for Children and Young People, Southern Cross University; and Member, Sydney Youth Orchestra Association Committee.

As mother to two daughters and one teenage son, Justice Beazely is an inspiration to many in her ability to balance work and family. She has been a superb parent for her children and yet maintains the most rigorous standards as one of Australia’s most senior judges.

Chancellor, I have great pleasure in presenting to you for admission to the degree of Doctor of Laws (honoris causa), advocate, Jurist and judge, Justice Margaret Beazley.