Kevin Dixon (attorney general)

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Kevin Dixon (1902–1959) was an Irish barrister and judge.

He was born in Dublin and educated at Belvedere and University College Dublin. He was called to the Bar in 1926 and became a Senior Counsel in 1940. He served as Attorney General from 1942 to 1946[1] when he was appointed a judge of the High Court where he served until his death in 1959.

He was generally considered the best Irish Chancery judge of his time with a particular knowledge of trade union law and the law of charities. Despite the inevitably dry subject matter of many of his judgements, some of them display a considerable sense of humour.[2] He was the High Court judge in the celebrated Constitutional test case O'Byrne v Minister for Finance[3] on the interpretation of the guarantee that a judge's salary shall not be reduced, a subject which remains controversial today. Dixon's ruling that notwithstanding the guarantee judges are liable to pay income tax was upheld by a majority of the Supreme Court. It was generally agreed that only his premature death prevented his promotion to the Supreme Court.


  1. ^ "Gallery of previous Attorneys General - 1940 to 1954". Office of the Attorney General. 2010. Retrieved 7 November 2010. 
  2. ^ For example his view in Roundabout Ltd. v Beirne [1959]I.R.435 that the Courts do not object to legal subterfuges as long as they are successful.
  3. ^ [1959]I.R. 435
Legal offices
Preceded by
Kevin Haugh
Attorney General of Ireland
Succeeded by
Cearbhall Ó Dálaigh