Ewan Crawford

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The Honourable
Ewan Crawford
AC
Chief Justice of Tasmania
In office
24 April 2008 – 8 April 2013
Preceded by Peter Underwood
Succeeded by Alan Blow
Judge of the Supreme Court of Tasmania
In office
1988–2013
Personal details
Born (1941-04-08) 8 April 1941 (age 73)
Launceston, Tasmania, Australia

Ewan Charles Crawford AC (born 8 April 1941) is an Australian judge and former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Tasmania.

Crawford was born in Launceston to parents Sir George and Lady Crawford. He went to Launceston Church Grammar School.

He became a student of law in 1959 and worked as an Associate to Chief Justice Stanley Burbury.[1]

He graduated from University of Tasmania on 12 May 1964 with a Bachelor of Laws with Honours.[1] He was employed by Douglas and Collins, Barristers and Solicitors, in Launceston as an employed solicitor.[2] At his swearing-in, he relates that he had to send away his first client so that he could ask somebody to help him with his advice. He then gave the wrong advice to his second client, and had to call him back to set it straight. He took a year off in 1965 to travel overseas and returned as an employed solicitor in 1966. In 1968 he was made a partner of the firm.[2] In that same year he married Robyn on 18 May, and they now have two sons and a daughter.

He was a Council Member of the Law Society of Tasmania between 1972 to 1984. He became President of the Law Society for 1979–1980. He was also involved in the Northern Regional Law Society and the Northern Area Legal Assistance Committee.

In 1982 fellow partner at the firm Douglas & Collins, Randall Askeland, murdered his wife Wendy Askeland. She was hit with an iron bar at least five times whilst in bed. Askeland sent another Douglas & Collins partner, John Scott, into the home on the pretense of taking a message to her, where he found the body. Askeland denied guilt, then confessed, then pleaded "not guilty". He was found guilty of murder by a Supreme Court jury in 1983. Crawford had to give evidence at the trial.

In 1988 Crawford was appointed as a judge of Tasmania's Supreme Court.[2] He was appointed to the Council of the University of Tasmania in 1997.[3] He is a Member of the Board of Legal Education, being a member since 1997, and a Member of the Law Admissions Consultative Committee since 1995.

In 2002 Crawford was made a Fellow of the University of Tasmania.[4]

It was announced on 8 April 2008[5] that Crawford was to be appointed chief justice following the appointment of Peter Underwood as Governor of Tasmania.[2] His swearing in ceremony was held on 24 April 2008.

He is the first chief justice in Australia to have done away with the red and white robes and long ceremonial wigs in the Supreme Court.[6] saying "Personally I feel they're out of date and unnecessary".

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Speech on Occasion of Swearing In of Chief Justice". Supremecourt.tas.gov.au. 
  2. ^ a b c d Mercury http://www.news.com.au/mercury/story/0,22884,23505372-3462,00.html
  3. ^ "Home - University Council - University of Tasmania, Australia". Utas.edu.au. 2012-11-27. Retrieved 2013-01-16. 
  4. ^ "Home - Graduation - University of Tasmania, Australia". Graduation.admin.utas.edu.au. Retrieved 2013-01-16. 
  5. ^ http://www.lcgs.tas.edu.au/assets/580/Alumni_Newsletter_April_08.pdf
  6. ^ Legal bigwigs lock up full regalia. Marie Rae. 25 June 2008 Hobart Mercury
Legal offices
Preceded by
Peter Underwood
Chief Justice of Tasmania
2008–2013
Succeeded by
Alan Blow