George Ligertwood

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Sir George Coutts Ligertwood (1888–1967) was a Judge of the Supreme Court of South Australia (12 July 1945–14 October 1958).

Early life and education[edit]

Ligertwood was born on 15 October 1888, in Maylands, a suburb of Adelaide, South Australia. He was educated at Norwood Public school, the Pupil Teachers' school, and the University of Adelaide (B.A., 1908; LL.B., 1910) and was admitted to the Bar on 15 December 1910 and became the acting-master of the Supreme Court in 1914.


Military and legal career[edit]

Ligertwood enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force on 6 May 1918, returning to South Australia in 1919 to become a partner in the firm Baker, McEwin, Ligertwood & Millhouse. He was appointed as a Kings Counsel on 28 August 1930.

He served as the President of the Law Society of South Australia from 1935 to 1937 and again from 1941 to 1943. He was a member of the executive-committee of the Law Council of Australia in 1937 and in 1942–43.

Judicial career[edit]

Ligertwood served on the bench of the Supreme Court from 12 July 1945 until his retirement in 1958. The Federal government appointed him to three royal commissions. In 1945, he was appointed Royal Commissioner by Prime Minister Ben Chifley to look into the conduct of Lieutenant General Gordon Bennett; in 1949, he took part in a commission into timber-leases in New Guinea; finally, in 1954–55 he was one of three commissioners who examined espionage in Australia.

Other roles[edit]

From 1930–67, Ligertwood served as a governor of Scotch College, Adelaide. He held the following roles at the University of Adelaide:

Personal life[edit]

Ligertwood married Edith Emily Naismith at the Methodist Church, Upper Sturt on 6 April 1915. He became a member of the Adelaide Club in 1929, and was a prominent Freemason.

Ligertwood died on 13 October 1967, in Adelaide.


Ligertwood was knighted in 1956. In 1959, he was appointed royal commissioner by the Western Australian government to inquire into betting. He chaired the Federal committee on taxation (1959–61), and the South Australian committee on assessment for land tax (1962–64).

He received an honorary LL.D. from the University of Western Australia in 1963, and another from the University of Adelaide in 1964.