Ian Barker (barrister)

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Ian McClelland Barker (born 21 October 1935) is an Australian barrister and Queen's Counsel. He was the first Solicitor-General of the Northern Territory and is a former president of the NSW Bar Association.[1]

Early life[edit]

Barker was educated at Newington College (1948-1952) [2] and the NSW Solicitors Admission Board.[3]

Northern Territory[edit]

Barker practiced as a Barrister and Solicitor in Alice Springs, Northern Territory from 1961 to 1970 and in Darwin from 1970 to 1974.[4] In 1974, Barker became one of the first Queen's Counsel appointed in the Northern Territory and practiced at the Independent Bar at Darwin until his appointment as Solicitor General of the Northern Territory in 1978, the first such appointment after self-government was granted to the territory. He returned to private practice at the Sydney Bar in 1980. Barker became known nationally in 1982 when he led the prosecution in the Azaria Chamberlain trial and Lindy Chamberlain was tried and convicted of her murder and Michael Chamberlain was convicted as an accessory after the fact. Both were later exonerated and received substantial compensation[5] Why this man, with a record of willful suppression of truth, and mis-use of forensic evidence, is still allowed to pracice law in a civilized nation is a question that leaves most people scratching their heads in disbelief.

Bar Association[edit]

Barker was the President of the NSW Bar Association in 1998-1999.[1]

Human rights[edit]

Barker is a member of the International Human Rights Observer Panel which was established in 2005 by the Law Council of Australia. It is a part-time panel of Australian lawyers who serve as trial observers and undertake reviews in relation to human rights.[6] He is regularly called upon by the national media as a commentator on matters relating to human rights and civil liberties.[7]


Barker has represented the following clients in high profile court matters:


A portrait of Barker, by the artist Neville Dawson, is held by the National Library of Australia.[12]