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Honorary Doctorate recognises exceptional service to the legal profession

Media release

Chief Justice of Western Australia Wayne Martin has been awarded an Honorary Doctor of Letters by Curtin University, in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the legal profession and the community in Western Australia.

Chief Justice Martin has served as director of the Law Council of Australia and president of the WA Bar Association, WA Law Society and Law Reform Commission of WA. In 2012 he was appointed a Companion in the General Division of the Order of Australia, recognising his eminent service to the judiciary and to the law.

Curtin Vice-Chancellor Professor Deborah Terry said Chief Justice Martin had played a very significant role in bringing greater access, transparency, compassion and human understanding to the administration of the law in Western Australia

“He has championed many new approaches as the State’s chief legal officer, permitting journalists to live tweet from WA courtrooms, abolishing the wearing of wigs in court and allowing both media and lawyers to use electronic devices while in court,” Professor Terry said.

“He challenges popular assumptions about legal matters, such as, higher levels of imprisonment will reduce criminal behaviour, and has been unafraid to disagree with government policies or decisions he felt impede the effective administration of the law in Western Australia.

“Chief Justice Martin is also the inaugural chair of the Curtin Law School Advisory Board. The Board has an important role in charting the future course of the Law School.”

Professor Terry said Chief Justice Martin’s contribution to the establishment of the Law School had been extremely significant. His high standing in the community and the legal profession adds gravitas to the School and its Board, and he had proven to be an effective and engaged Chair.

“As well as overseeing the meetings, Chief Justice Martin has been an invaluable sounding board for and contributor to many Law School initiatives.

“His input has been especially helpful in the development of Curtin’s innovative integrated clinical law school,” Professor Terry said.