The Honourable Justice
|Justice of the Supreme Court of Victoria|
|Assumed office |
23 October 2007
|Nominated by||John Brumby|
|Appointed by||David de Kretser|
|Born||8 July 1948|
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
|Alma mater||Monash University|
Early life and education
Lasry grew up in the small town of Healesville, Victoria. He attended Haileybury College and Monash University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Jurisprudence in 1970, and a Bachelor of Laws in 1972.
Barrister and advocate
Lasry completed his 'articles' at the law firm Slater & Gordon, and read for the Victorian Bar under David Bennett QC. He was permitted to practise law in Victoria in 1973 and was appointed Queen's Counsel in 1990. Lasry has acted as a junior counsel before the Costigan royal commission, counsel with the National Crime Authority, and was the Royal Commissioner for the Inquiry into the Victorian Metropolitan Ambulance Service. From 2003 and 2006, Lasry acted as senior counsel assisting the Coronial inquiry into the 2003 Canberra bushfires. Prior to his 2007 appointment to the bench, Lasry was entitled to practise law in the Australian jurisdictions of Victoria, New South Wales, the Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia, and Western Australia.
As the former chair of the Victorian Criminal Bar Association, in August 2004, Lasry was appointed as the independent observer representing the Law Council of Australia at the trial of Australian Guantanamo Bay detainee David Hicks. He attended Military Commission hearings at Guantanamo Bay in August 2004 and March 2007.
As a senior partner with Slater & Gordon, Lasry has acted as defence counsel in several high-profile criminal cases in Australia and overseas. He acted on behalf of Joseph Thomas in a high-profile Australian terror trial (see R v Thomas) in which Thomas was convicted of receiving funds from a terrorist organisation and for passport offences. The conviction was overturned on appeal. Lasry represented Van Tuong Nguyen in the high-profile case in which he was convicted of drug trafficking in Singapore in 2002 and executed in December 2005. At about that time Lasry took up the case of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, two of the nine Australians convicted of drug trafficking in Indonesia, known as the Bali Nine. That work has been continued by barrister Julian McMahon and a team of Victorian lawyers.
Appointment to the bench
Lasry was appointed as a justice of the Supreme Court of Victoria on 23 October 2007. He is also a member of the Council of the International Criminal Bar for counsel practising before the International Court of Justice. He also chaired appellate hearings for the Confederation of Australian Motor Sport (CAMS) and for V8 Supercar racing, and has a motor racing licence.
He was the trial judge in respect of the murder trial involving the accused, Hugo Alastair Rich and the re-trial involving the accused Robert Farquharson.
Awards and honours
In 2007 Lasry was awarded the Law Council of Australia's inaugural Presidents Medal for his pro bono representation of Van Nguyen in 2005, and for his outstanding work as Independent Legal Observer for Hicks in 2004 and 2005.
Lasry has been a longstanding opponent of the use of the death penalty, arguing "when the state kills a citizen, no matter what they have done, the community is diminished by the killing." In reference to the Bali Nine, Lasry stated "The idea that the government would take individuals out into the bush and shoot them is something I can never live with... and from a legal viewpoint, it has no deterrent value." In 2015, Lasry organised a concert in support of jailed Australian journalist Peter Greste.
- Lasry, Lex (24 July 2007). "David Hicks v the United States" (PDF). Summary of the Report of the Independent Observer for the Law Council of Australia. Canberra, Australia: Law Council of Australia. Retrieved 14 February 2015.
- Butcher, Steve (24 October 2007). "Colleagues heap praise on new Justice Lex Lasry". The Age. Retrieved 14 February 2015.
- Lasry, Lex (May 2001). "Report of the Metropolitan Ambulance Service Royal Commission". Victorian Metropolitan Ambulance Service Royal Commission. Melbourne: Parliament of Victoria. p. 261. Retrieved 14 February 2015.
- "Biography". Victorian Bar Association. Archived from the original on 21 August 2006.
- "2007: Mr Lex Lasry QC". Presidents Medal. Law Council of Australia. 2007. Retrieved 14 February 2015.
- O'Brien, Kerry (1 December 2005). "Nguyen lawyer describes painful journey" (transcript). The 7.30 Report. Australia: ABC TV. Retrieved 14 February 2015.
- Kalina, Paul (23 February 2006). "Trial by media in Bali". The Age. Retrieved 14 February 2015.
- "Judges". Supreme Court of Victoria. 10 February 2015. Archived from the original on 1 March 2015. Retrieved 14 February 2015.
- "Ward's whopper fine stands, pretty much". motoring.com.au. 20 September 2007. Retrieved 14 February 2015.
- Lasry, Lex (3 February 2007). "Australia must stick to its principles". The Age. Retrieved 14 February 2015.
- "Bali Nine: Senior judge Lex Lasry adds voice to calls for clemency for Andrew Chan, Myuran Sukumaran". 7.30. Australia: ABC TV. 11 February 2015. Retrieved 14 February 2015.
- Santhebennur, Malavika (25 July 2014). "Lawyers band together for detained journo". Lawyers Weekly. Retrieved 14 February 2015.
- "Faculty of Law - Council Appointments to Faculty Board". Council Meeting 6/2011. Monash University. 29 September 2011. Retrieved 14 February 2015.
- Graham Reilly, "The good life", The Age. 11 July 2015, Spectrum, p. 4