|Justice of the High Court of Australia|
14 February 1989 – 1 November 2005
|Nominated by||Bob Hawke|
|Appointed by||Ninian Stephen|
|Preceded by||Ronald Wilson|
|Succeeded by||Susan Crennan|
1 November 1935 |
New South Wales, Australia
The son of a miner and steelworker, he left school at 15 despite excelling academically and in rugby league at Marist Brothers, Newcastle. For the next seven years, he worked as a telegram boy, crane chaser, sawmill worker and labourer until he enrolled at evening school. At 22, with his Leaving Certificate in hand, he started studying law as a student-at-law with the Legal Profession Admission Board and taught by the University of Sydney.
McHugh was admitted to the New South Wales Bar in 1961 after taking the Barristers Admission Board Examinations.
He was appointed Queen's Counsel (QC) in 1973 and was Vice President of the New South Wales Bar Association, 1978-81, and later as President, 1981-83.
NSW Court of Appeal judicial appointment
High Court appointment
He was appointed as a judge of the High Court in February 1989, a position he held until his retirement in November 2005 in accordance with Section 72 of the Australian Constitution, which states that Justices of the High Court must retire from office upon turning 70.
After he retired from the High Court, Justice McHugh was appointed as one of the Non-Permanent Justices of the Court of Final Appeal in Hong Kong. Another Australian judge on the Court of Final Appeal is Sir Anthony Mason.
McHugh now works as an independent mediator and arbitrator.
He is married to a former Australian federal MP and Minister Jeannette McHugh.
- He received Australia's highest civil honour when he was made a Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) in 1989.