Honorary awards

The Hon Justice D G (Graham) Hill

The degree of Doctor of Laws (honoris causa) was conferred upon the Hon Justice D G (Graham) Hill in 2002.


Chancellor, I have the honour to present The Honourable Justice D G (Graham) Hill, an outstanding member of the legal profession who has made a long and very distinguished academic ontribution to the University of Sydney, for the conferring of the degree of Doctor of Laws (Honoris Causa).

After his secondary educationon at Fort Street Boys High School, where he achieved the maximum pass in the Leaving Certificate, Justice Hill came to the University of Sydney and obtained a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws with First Class Honours and the University Medal. Winning a Ford International Fellowship, a Fulbright Scholarship and a University Postgraduate Scholarship, he went on to Harvard University where he studied for his Master of Laws.

After his return to Australia, Justice Hill quickly rose to the rank of partner of major law firms before moving to the Bar. He was appointed Queens Counsel in 1984 and to the Federal Court of Australia in 1989. He has been the leading judge in taxation cases in that court (which deals with federal tax appeals) since his appointment, but he also participates across the whole gamut of the Court’s very broad jurisdiction. The Chief Justice of Australia, the Honourable Murray Gleeson, describes Justice
Hill has having introduced “a search for principle, rationality and order into an area of the law that had in the past lacked to a large extent those qualities.”

Justice Hill was (and continues to be) heavily involved in professional associations, holding numerous positions over many years, most notably as a former President and life member of the Taxation Institute of Australia, the peak professional taxation organisation in Australia.

Justice Hill has had a long association with the Faculty of Law at this University. He has taught continuously in a part-time capacity since 1967, and is, in fact, the longest serving teacher in the Faculty. He currently holds the honorary title of Challis Lecturer in Taxation. For the past 35 years, he has spent most Tuesday evenings standing before a class, educating generations of students in taxation. He is the patron of the Australasian Tax Teachers Association and regularly presents papers at its annual conferences.

Justice Hill's research and publication record is such that would make any full-time academic proud. He is the author of the standard text on Australian Stamp Duties and writes articles regularly on income tax, sales tax, and more recently the GST. His research covers not only technical legal issues but also broader considerations such as the role of judges in the taxation system and the ethics of taxation practice.

Even this recounting of formal achievements understates the extent of Justice Hill's impact. His judgments have been extraordinarily influential in the development of the law over the full range of issues affecting taxation. In addition he has served as leader and mentor to the profession, and major contributor to advanced postgraduate education.

Chancellor, I have great pleasure in presenting to you for admission to the degree of Doctor of Laws (Honoris Causa), distinguished graduate, scholar, teacher and jurist, The Honourable Justice Graham Hill.