Honorary awards

Professor Emeritus Enid Mona Campbell OBE

The degree of Doctor of Laws (honoris causa) was conferred upon Professor Emeritus Enid Mona Campbell OBE in 2002.


Chancellor, I have the honour to present Professor Emeritus Enid Mona Campbell OBE, one of Australia's foremost legal scholars, for the conferring of the degree of Doctor of Laws (honoris causa).

Emeritus Professor Enid Campbell graduated from the University of Tasmania with a Bachelor of Laws with Honours and Bachelor of Economics in 1955, sharing the University prize for the top student. On graduation she was selected to be among the first group of students from the Commonwealth to study at Duke University in North Carolina. At Duke, her doctoral studies examined the contribution to 19th Century jurisprudence of John Austin, philosopher of legal positivism. This work enabled her to view the law from perspectives of political philosophy, international law and comparative politics.

Professor Campbell took up a lectureship in Law at the University of Sydney in 1960. She rose rapidly through the ranks being promoted Associate Professor in 1965. Among her students were current Justices of the High Court of Australia, Mary Gaudron and William Gummow.

It was during her time at the University of Sydney that Professor Campbell laid the foundations of her prodigious scholarship, publishing three seminal books and 17 articles. The three books were her monograph, Parliamentary Privilege in Australia (1966), considered to be the classic text in this field; her study of civil liberties Freedom in Australia (1966), co-authored with the late Harry Whitmore and which had a second edition in 1973; and finally, the text which she wrote with Donald MacDougall, Legal Research: Materials and Methods (1967), which is now in its fourth edition with other coauthors, and is regarded as the student bible on Australian legal research.

Recognition of her prodigious scholarship occurred in 1967 when Professor Campbell was appointed to the Sir Isaac Isaacs Chair of Law at Melbourne’s Monash University, a chair she held until her retirement in 1997. Five years after her appointment, she was elected as Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia.

With her appointment to the Monash Chair, Professor Campbell became the first woman in Australia or New Zealand to hold a full Chair in Law. As Australia’s most senior woman legal scholar, she acted as a beacon to young women who aspired to careers in academic law, and also in the field of government service.

For more than forty years, Professor Campbell has been a prolific author of legal materials, including 11 books or monographs and almost one hundred articles in many of the most prestigious refereed scholarly journals. Her work ranges over a wide field including civil liberties, parliamentary privilege, legal research, constitutional law, administrative law, jurisprudence and the judiciary.

Despite her busy life as a legal academic, Professor Campbell has served on a number of significant government commissions and committees, where her scholarship and rigour has left an indelible mark on the public polity.

From 1974 to 1976, she served with distinction as a Commissioner to the Royal Commission on Australian Government. She was later a member of the Commonwealth Tertiary Education Commission’s Committee to Inquire into the Discipline of Law. The report of the Committee, published 1987, was extraordinarily influential through its advocacy of interdisciplinary scholarship in law, of increased attention to teaching and in its successful argument for increased funding for legal education in Australia. From 1985 to 1988, Professor Campbell served on the Constitutional Commission.

In 1979, in recognition of her services to legal education and scholarship and to public service, Professor Campbell was appointed as an Officer in the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the Commonwealth of Australia list, in recognition of her contribution to legal scholarship and education and to government service.

As part of its centenary celebrations in 1990, the University of Tasmania awarded Professor Campbell a Doctor of Laws Degree (Honoris Causa) as one of the University of Tasmania’s most distinguished graduates. It is now the turn of the University of Sydney to honour the outstanding achievements of a scholar who began her career in our Faculty of Law.

Chancellor, I have great pleasure in presenting to you for admission to the degree of Doctor of Laws (Honoris Causa), scholar, educator, and government adviser, Professor Enid Mona Campbell OBE.