Lionel Keith Murphy QC (30 August 1922 – 21 October 1986) was an Australian politician and judge. He was a Senator for New South Wales from 1962 to 1975, serving as Attorney-General in the Whitlam Government, and then sat on the High Court from 1975 until his death.

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  • Lionel Keith Murphy QC (30 August 1922 – 21 October 1986) was an Australian politician and judge. He was a Senator for New South Wales from 1962 to 1975, serving as Attorney-General in the Whitlam Government, and then sat on the High Court from 1975 until his death. Murphy was born in Sydney, and attended Sydney Boys High School before going on to the University of Sydney. He initially graduated with a degree in chemistry, but then went on to Sydney Law School and eventually became a barrister. He specialised in labour and industrial law, and took silk in 1960. Murphy was elected to the Senate at the 1961 federal election, as a member of the Labor Party. He became Leader of the Opposition in the Senate in 1967. Following Labor's victory at the 1972 federal election, Gough Whitlam appointed Murphy as Attorney-General and Minister for Customs and Excise. He oversaw a number of reforms, establishing the Family Court of Australia, the Law Reform Commission, and the Australian Institute of Criminology, and developing the Family Law Act 1975, which fully established no-fault divorce. He also authorised the 1973 Murphy raids on ASIO. In 1975, following the death of Douglas Menzies, Murphy was appointed to the High Court. He is the most recent politician to be elevated to the court. On the court, Murphy was known for his radicalism and judicial activism. However, his final years were marred by persistent allegations of corruption. He was convicted of perverting the course of justice in 1985, but had the conviction overturned on appeal and was acquitted at a second trial. In 1986, a commission was established to determine whether he was fit to remain on the court, but it was abandoned when Murphy announced that he was suffering from terminal cancer. (en)
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  • 1975-02-09 (xsd:date)
  • 1986-10-21 (xsd:date)
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  • 1972-12-19 (xsd:date)
  • 1975-02-10 (xsd:date)
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  • SenatorforNew South Wales
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  • Justice of theHigh Court of Australia
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  • Lionel Keith Murphy QC (30 August 1922 – 21 October 1986) was an Australian politician and judge. He was a Senator for New South Wales from 1962 to 1975, serving as Attorney-General in the Whitlam Government, and then sat on the High Court from 1975 until his death. (en)
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  • Lionel Murphy (en)
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  • Lionel Murphy (en)
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