Former Supreme Court Chief Justice Tim Carmody AM is one of three eminent Queensland lawyers acknowledged for their contributions to the law in today’s 2022 Queen’s Birthday Honours list.
Mr Carmody, who served as Queensland’s Chief Justice (2014-15), Chief Magistrate and District Court judge (2013-14), Family Court of Australia judge (2003-08) and Supreme Court judge (2014-19) was recognised for his “significant service to the law, and the judiciary” over more than 40 years.
Current Australian Law Reform Commission president, Federal Court Justice and former University of Queensland Dean of Law Professor Sarah Derrington has been bestowed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for her “significant service to the judiciary … the law, and to the legal profession”.
Celebrated lawyer and current Emeritus Professor of Law at the Gold Coast’s Bond University Mary Hiscock received an AM for “significant service to tertiary education, and to the law”.
The trio was among 992 Australians to receive Queen’s Birthday honours announced by Governor-General David Hurley AC early today.
He said 669 people received awards in the General Division of the Order of Australia (8 AC, 33 AO, 200 AM and 428 OAM).
“On behalf of all Australians, I congratulate (those) recognised in today’s Honours List,” he said. “Recipients share some common traits – including selflessness, excellence and a commitment to service.”
Mr Carmody, in an exclusive interview with QLS Proctor, said he was deeply moved and honoured to receive recognition for his service to the legal profession.
“I sincerely appreciate the nomination and recognition for professional service and achievement,” Mr Carmody said. “Many equally or more deserving don’t get either.
“I am fortunate to have had a diverse and fulfilling career; not only in the law, but in the no less important and just as challenging field of child protection and law enforcement.”
Mr Carmody’s remarkable and diverse legal career began when he was admitted to the Queensland Bar in 1982 and rose to very public prominence in 1987 during the Commission of Inquiry into Possible Illegal Activities and Associated Police Misconduct.
Known colloquially as the Fitzgerald Inquiry – headed by then silk and now former Queensland Court of Appeal President and Federal Court of Australia Justice Tony Fitzgerald AC QC – Mr Carmody served as both forensically investigate and prosecute offences of official corruption between 1987-91
From 1996-97, he was junior counsel assisting the Inquiry into the Criminal Justice Commission (set up in the wake of the Fitzgerald Inquiry and now known as the Crime and Corruption Commission) to review the effectiveness of Queensland’s original anti-corruption body.
Mr Carmody was appointed the state’s inaugural Queensland Crime Commissioner (1998-2002) to investigate major drug and organised crime using special coercive powers, including the use of closed compulsory ‘star-chamber’ hearings.
He has also served as a judge of the Family Court of Australia (2003-08) and as a part-time Australian Crime Commission examiner (2011) to supervise the commission’s use of coercive powers.
In 2018, he was appointed Queensland Chief Magistrate and a judge of the District Court and then elevated to the Queensland’s Supreme Court Chief Justice in 2014. He stepped down as Chief Justice in 2015, but continued as a judge of the Supreme Court and served a stint as Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal President until his retirement on 10 September 2019.
Reflecting on his contribution to the profession, Mr Carmody said he was grateful for the support he received from many practitioners and the sage piece of advice he received his father as a child.
“As I look back at the past 40-years or more of my working life, I realise how little I would have been able to accomplish on my own,” he said.
“When I was a boy, my father gave me some very good advice and I have never forgotten it – ‘In life, learning is the key; graveyards are full of indispensable people; and above all, always be authentic.’
“To the extent that I am worthy of any award or accolade, I share it with all the people how have helped me share it with all the people who have helped me earn it.
“I gratefully acknowledge those who cared for, taught, inspired, mentored, encouraged and supported me. Especially those who believed in or took a chance on me whey didn’t have to and those who could always be counted on.”
Mr Carmody said he was also extremely indebted to everyone he had worked closely with and their on-going friendships.
“Finally, I am nothing without the loyalty and love of my wife and family.”