Marilyn Warren

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The Honourable
Marilyn Warren
11th Chief Justice of Victoria
Assumed office
25 November 2003
Appointed by Rob Hulls
Preceded by John Harber Phillips AC, QC
13th Lieutenant-Governor of Victoria
Assumed office
7 April 2006
Governor David de Kretser AC (2006–2011)
Alex Chernov AO, QC (2011–2015)
Linda Dessau AM (2015–present)
Preceded by Lady Southey AC
Personal details
Born 1951 (age 65–66)
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Nationality Australian
Education Monash University

Marilyn Louise Warren, AC (born 1951) is the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Victoria and Lieutenant-Governor of Victoria, Australia.[1]

Early life[edit]

Warren grew up in the Melbourne suburb of Sandringham, and was educated at the Kilbreda Convent in Mentone. She later studied law at Monash University, graduating B.Juris (Bachelor of Jurisprudence) and LL.B. (Hons) (Bachelor of Laws with Honours) in 1973 and 1974 respectively and Master of Laws in 1983. In April 2004, she was made an honorary Doctor of Laws by Monash University. Warren was a champion squash player, winning the University's women's championship ten years in a row. She also represented the State of Victoria three times, in a team which won the Australian championships three years running.[2]

Professional career[edit]

Warren completed her articles of clerkship with a solicitor for the Government of Victoria as the first female articled clerk in public service in Victoria. After her admission to practise in 1975, Warren worked as a solicitor in the government sector until 1985, during which time she served as Deputy Secretary of the Law Department of Victoria, and was a senior policy adviser to three Attorneys-General of Victoria, namely Haddon Storey QC, John Cain and Jim Kennan SC. She was called to the Victorian Bar in 1985 and practiced as a barrister in areas such as commercial and administrative law. From 1986 to 1994, Warren was a member of the Law Reform Committee of the Victorian Bar. On 25 November 1997, Warren was appointed a QC.

Judicial office[edit]

On 13 October 1998, Warren was appointed a judge in the Trial Division of the Supreme Court of Victoria. A representative of the Victorian Bar, giving Warren the customary welcome to new judges, said "We at the Bar look forward to the days of the Warren Supreme Court in this State,"[3] alluding to the high reputation of the Supreme Court of the United States under Earl Warren, and recognising Warren's own talent. As a judge, Warren presided over cases in all of the court's lists, but particularly the Commercial List, of which she was the judge in charge from 2000.

Warren was appointed Chief Justice of the Supreme Court (thus becoming Chief Justice of Victoria) on 25 November 2003. She is the first female Chief Justice in any of the states and territories of Australia.[4] At her ceremonial welcome to that office, the Attorney-General of Victoria, Rob Hulls, recognised Warren's work in advocating equality of opportunity for women lawyers, and described her as "an eminent jurist, [who] will be an unparalleled and inspirational leader of this Court."[3] As Chief Justice, Warren continues to hear cases from all areas of the court's jurisdiction. Chief Justice Warren will retire in October 2017.

Warren is also Lieutenant-Governor of Victoria (appointed 2006), President of the Victorian Law Foundation, Chair of the Judicial College of Victoria, Chair of the Council of Legal Education, and Chair of the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine.[5]


Leading Cases[edit]

Leading cases or judgements handed down by Warren include:

  • Bayley Walk Pty Ltd v Bayley Views Pty Ltd [2006] VSC 213 – Mareva orders
  • Kane Constructions Pty Ltd v Sopov [2005] VSC 237 – repudiation of contracts and unjust enrichment
  • Re: OG, a lawyer [2007] VSC 520 – striking off legal practitioner
  • Kirkland-Veenstra v Stewart & Ors [2008] VCA – public authority liability

Personal life[edit]

Warren chooses to ride a bicycle to work when she can, despite the fact that her job comes with a chauffeur, and she is a regular bushwalker. She is also apparently known for playing Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture at high volume while travelling between courts.[3]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

Legal offices
Preceded by
John Harber Phillips
Chief Justice of the
Supreme Court of Victoria

Government offices
Preceded by
Lady Southey
Lieutenant Governor of Victoria