Marilyn Warren

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Marilyn Warren

11th Chief Justice of Victoria
In office
25 November 2003 – 1 October 2017
Appointed byRob Hulls
Preceded byJohn Harber Phillips AC, QC
Succeeded byAnne Ferguson
13th Lieutenant-Governor of Victoria
In office
7 April 2006 – 8 November 2017
GovernorDavid de Kretser AC (2006–2011)
Alex Chernov AO, QC (2011–2015)
Linda Dessau AM (2015–present)
Preceded byLady Southey AC
Succeeded byKen Lay AO APM
Judge of the Supreme Court of Victoria
In office
13 October 1998 – 1 October 2017
Personal details
Born1951 (age 67–68)
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
EducationMonash University

Marilyn Louise Warren AC (born 1951) is a former 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] Warren retired on 1 October 2017, and was succeeded by Anne Ferguson.[5]

Warren was also Lieutenant-Governor of Victoria (2006-2017), President of the Victorian Law Foundation, Chair of the Judicial College of Victoria, Chair of the Council of Legal Education, Chair of the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine, Chair of the Courts Council of Victoria and Chair of the Judicial Commission of Victoria.[6]

Academic career[edit]

In January 2018, Warren was appointed a Vice-Chancellor's Professorial Fellow at Monash University, Victoria, Australia.[7]


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]


  1. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 September 2007. Retrieved 27 September 2007.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ Porter, Liz (4 September 2004). "All rise for Marilyn Warren". The Age.
  3. ^ a b c "Welcome" (PDF). The Victorian Bar. 2003. Archived from the original (PDF) on 18 July 2005. Retrieved 7 February 2006.
  4. ^ Shiel, Fergus (26 November 2003). "Trailblazing lawyer named chief justice". The Age. Melbourne: Fairfax Media. Retrieved 7 July 2015.
  5. ^ Boseley, Matilda (8 August 2017). "Next chief justice named with Anne Ferguson to succeed Marilyn Warren in top job". The Age. Retrieved 27 September 2017.
  6. ^ Victoria, Department of Premier and Cabinet,. "Governor of Victoria - Role of the Lieutenant Governor". Retrieved 27 September 2017.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)
  7. ^ "Monash University Vice-Chancellor's Professorial Fellows". Monash University.
  8. ^ "Women honoured for their contributions at home and abroad". Australian Government Office for Women. 2005. Archived from the original on 23 February 2006. Retrieved 7 February 2006.
  9. ^ "Leading judge takes out top distinguished alumni award". Monash University.
Legal offices
Preceded by
John Harber Phillips
Chief Justice of the
Supreme Court of Victoria

Succeeded by
Anne Ferguson
Government offices
Preceded by
Lady Southey
Lieutenant-Governor of Victoria
Succeeded by
Ken Lay