|Senator for Western Australia|
1 July 1993 – 30 January 2009
|Preceded by||Peter Durack|
|Succeeded by||Chris Back|
|Minister for Justice|
30 January 2001 – 3 December 2007
|Prime Minister||John Howard|
|Preceded by||Amanda Vanstone|
|Succeeded by||Brendan O'Connor|
15 June 1954|
Bulawayo, Southern Rhodesia
|Political party||Liberal Party of Australia|
|Alma mater||University of Western Australia|
Chris Ellison was born in Bulawayo, Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), and was educated at Trinity College, Perth and the University of Western Australia, where he gained a B.Juris(1977) and LLB(1978). He spent two years as a lawyer with the Legal Aid Commission of Western Australia, where he completed his articled clerkship. He was a barrister and solicitor as partner in his own law firm, Williams Ellison, for 13 years 1980-93.
He is known for his conservative and Catholic views, and is a strong constitutional monarchist and a member of the Australians for Constitutional Monarchy. He has voted against abortion and euthanasia.
He is married with three children.
Ellison was elected as Senator for Western Australia in 1993, replacing Peter Durack, and immediately became involved in parliamentary committees and inquiries across a range of portfolios. He chaired the Senate Legal and Constitutional References Committee from 1993 to 1996, including chairing an inquiry which led to changes in Australia's treaty making process.
He entered the Howard ministry as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Health and Family Services and to the Attorney-General in 1997. He was promoted to Minister for Customs and Consumer Affairs and Minister Assisting the Attorney-General 1997, Minister for Schools, Vocational Education and Training 1997-98 and Special Minister of State 1998-2001. He was Minister for Justice and Customs between January 2001 and March 2007.
From March 2007 until the defeat of the Howard government in the 2007 election, Ellison was a member of cabinet as Minister for Human Services, overseeing the service delivery of Government agencies including Centrelink, Medicare and the Child Support Agency. He held the offices of Shadow Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, along with Manager of Opposition Business in the Senate from December 2007 to September 2008.
Following the change of Government in November 2007, Senator Ellison was appointed as Shadow Minister for Immigration and Citizenship and Manager of Opposition Business in the Senate. In addition, Senator Ellison was the Chair of the Scrutiny of Bills Committee.
Senator Ellison remains to date the longest serving Minister for Justice.
On 17 September 2008, Ellison announced he would be resigning, stating that he would like to spend more time with his family. However, he did not formally resign until 30 January 2009. The casual vacancy caused by his resignation was filled by Chris Back.
- Senate debates Wednesday, 3 December 2008
- "Biography for Ellison, the Hon. Christopher Martin". ParlInfo Web. Parliament of Australia. Retrieved 2 December 2007.[permanent dead link]
- "Ellison quits politics". ABC News. 2008-09-17.
- Senate Hansard: Ellison's resignation, 3 February 2009 Archived 27 March 2009 at the Wayback Machine.
| Minister for Customs and Consumer Affairs
| Minister for Schools, Vocational
Education and Training
| Special Minister of State
| Minister for Justice and Customs
| Minister for Human Services