Honorary awards

The Hon Justice John Dyson Heydon AC

The degree of Doctor of Laws (honoris causa) was conferred upon the Hon Justice John Dyson Heydon AC at the Law graduation ceremony held at 11.30am on 11 May 2007.

The Hon Justice John Dyson Heydon AC

The Chancellor the Hon Justice Kim Santow conferring the Honorary Doctorate upon the Hon Justice John Dyson Heydon, photo, copyright Memento Photography.


Chancellor, I have the honour to present Justice John Dyson Heydon AC, for admission to the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa.

Justice Heydon was educated at Sydney Church of England Grammar School, and then the University of Sydney where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree. He was the New South Wales Rhodes Scholar for 1964, and he attended Oxford University where he obtained the degrees of Master of Arts and Bachelor of Civil Law. In 1971, he as admitted as a Barrister at Law at Gray’s Inn, London. He returned to Australia in 1973, where he was appointed to a full professorship in the Faculty of Law of the University of Sydney. At that time he was still a very young man: he had not attained his 30th birthday at the date of his appointment. When aged 34 in 1977, he was appointed Dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of Sydney.

As an academic and later in full-time practice as a barrister, Justice Heydon has proven to be a prolific author and a scholar of high distinction. He was the sole author of books on the restraint of trade doctrine, the economic torts and trade practices law. He also co-authored other works including two books on the law of evidence. He has also written numerous articles on an extraordinarily wide range of legal subjects.

In 1981, Justice Heydon left his Chair at the University of Sydney and commenced full-time practice at the New South Wales Bar. In 1987, he was appointed a Queen’s Counsel. In 2000, Justice Heydon was appointed to the New SouthWales Court of Appeal, and in 2003, he was appointed as a Justice of the High Court of Australia.

Justice Heydon has served as a distinguished professor and Dean at this University, was an outstanding advocate at the New South Wales Bar and is now a distinguished justice of the highest court in our land.

Chancellor, I have great pleasure in presenting to you for admission to the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, prolific scholar, jurist and Justice of the High Court of Australia, John Dyson Heydon, and I invite you to confer the degree upon him.