Murray Wilcox

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Murray Rutledge Wilcox, AO, QC is a former Australian Federal Court Judge, serving from 11 May 1984 until retiring on 2 October 2006.[1]He also served as an additional Judge of the Supreme Court of the Australian Capital Territory from 23 April 1983 to 30 September 2006. He may be best remembered for handing down the controversial Noongar Native Title ruling a fortnight before retiring.[2] In May 2007, Wilcox gave the Blackburn Lecture to the ACT Law Society. In his speech, Wilcox claimed that Australia was becoming an 'elected dictatorship' as a result of a concentration of power in Canberra and the position of Prime Minister of Australia at the hand of John Howard.[3]

He was the Chief Justice of the Industrial Relations Court of Australia between 1994 and his retirement in 2006.

In October 1993 his book An Australian Charter of Rights was launched by Michael Kirby. The Australian reported a concomitant "attack" on Australia's human rights laws as inadequate to prevent "discrimination" and a potential "international embarrassment". Wilcox was quoted as saying that "Parliaments and the common law [are] not doing their jobs". In particular, they did not do enough to extirpate racial and sexual discrimination or to protect homosexuals. Kirby agreed that Parliament was "spineless" in such areas.[4]

Wilcox is a committed environmentalist, and was President of the Australian Conservation Foundation 1979-1984 [5]


  1. ^ Former Judges, Federal Court of Australia
  2. ^ "Radio National Breakfast 3 October 2006 - Justice Murray Wilcox", Breakfast, 3 October 2006
  3. ^ "Radio National Breakfast 17 May 2007 - Justice Murray Wilcox", Breakfast, 17 May 2007
  4. ^ Chapter Six: "Just tidying up": Two Decades of the Federal Court, Dr John Forbes
  5. ^ "The Australian Panel of Experts on Environmental Law (APEEL)", Panel of Experts, 23 November 2016