Douglas Menzies

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The Right Honourable
Sir Douglas Menzies
Justice of the High Court of Australia
In office
12 June 1958 – 29 November 1974
Nominated by Robert Menzies
Preceded by Sir William Webb
Succeeded by Lionel Murphy
Personal details
Born 7 September 1907
Ballarat, Victoria, Australia
Died 29 November 1974 (aged 67)
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Spouse(s) Helen Jean Borland (dec. 1996)

Sir Douglas Ian Menzies KBE (7 September 1907 – 29 November 1974) was an Australian judge, serving as a Justice of the High Court of Australia. He was also Chancellor of Monash University from 1968 until his death in 1974.


Menzies was born in Ballarat, Victoria, in 1907. He was educated at Hobart High School and Devonport High School in Tasmania, before returning to Victoria to study at the University of Melbourne. He graduated with a Master of Laws, having been awarded the Jessie Leggatt and E. J. B. Num Scholarships, and having won the Supreme Court of Victoria's Prize in Law.

In 1930, Menzies was admitted to the Victorian Bar, where he practised as a barrister. From 1941 to 1945, he was Secretary to the Defence Committee and Chiefs of Staff, and from 1941 to 1950 he was a lecturer at the University of Melbourne. From 1956 to 1958, Menzies was the President of the Law Council of Australia, and in 1958, served as President of the Victorian Bar Council.

Menzies was appointed to the bench of the High Court on 12 June 1958, and later that year was made a Knight of the Order of the British Empire. In 1963, he was elevated to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, and in 1968 was made the Chancellor of Monash University. He served on the bench of the High Court until his death on 29 November 1974. Menzies collapsed suddenly at the New South Wales Bar's annual Bench and Bar Dinner and was taken to nearby Sydney Hospital. According to a story often told by retired High Court Justice Michael Kirby, Menzies died three places ahead of Kirby, in the servery line in the Bar's common room.[1] He was cremated.

He was a cousin of Sir Robert Menzies, the 12th Prime Minister of Australia.


  1. ^ "Australia's Courts - a Quarter Century of Change". High Court of Australia. Retrieved 26 December 2005.