Honorary awards

Justice Keith Mason AC

The degree of Doctor of Laws (honoris causa) was conferred upon Justice Keith Mason AC in 2005.


Chancellor, I have the honour to present to you Justice Keith Mason AC, for admission to the Degree of Doctor of Laws (honoris causa).

Justice Mason graduated from the University of Sydney with a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Bachelor of Laws degree with First Class Honours, and he later obtained the degree of Master of Laws from the University of London. He commenced practicing as a solicitor in New South Wales in 1970 and in 1972 he commenced practicing as a barrister. He was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1981. He practiced as a barrister until 1985, working mainly in the fields of equity, commercial and public law.

From 1985 until 1987 he was the full-time Chairman of the New South Wales Law Reform Commission, and from 1989 to 1990 he was Chairman of that body on a part-time basis. As Chairman of the New South Wales Law Reform Commission, Justice Mason was the principal writer of reports on: “Recovery of Payments made under mistake of law”, and “Wills: Execution and Revocation”.

From 1987 to 1997, Justice Mason served as Solicitor-General for the state of New South Wales. The Solicitor-General is the senior counsel and principal non-political legal adviser to the New South Wales government and its instrumentalities.

On 4 February 1997, Justice Mason was sworn in as President of the New South Wales Court of Appeal.

Justice Mason has also found time to engage in academic and related writing, and together with Professor John Carter, Justice Mason co-authored “Restitution Law in Australia”. Justice Mason has also been a teacher in this Faculty, and several years ago he co-taught a course on restitution in our postgraduate program.

Justice Mason, who is a prominent lay member of the Anglican Church, has delivered a number of papers on the interface between law, religion and morality. He gathered together these papers and published them in a little book titled “Constancy and Change”.

In 2003, Justice Mason was made a Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) for his services to the law.

Chancellor, I have great pleasure in presenting to you, for admission to the Degree of Doctor of Laws (honoris causa), law reformer, government advisor and jurist Justice Keith Mason, and I invite you to confer the degree upon him.