Final lecture focuses on Grimley Affair

The Supreme Court Library Queensland is hosting the final Selden Society lecture of the year on Thursday, 7 September.

Sir Charles Lilley and the Grimley Affair will be presented by Dr Sarah McKibbin, who is a lecturer in law at the University of Southern Queensland in Toowoomba. She teaches, researches and publishes in legal history and private international law.

Dr McKibbin is the lead author of A Legal History For Australia.

Sir Charles Lilley (1827–97) was a towering figure in politics and law in colonial Queensland, but his final years were dogged by controversy. 

In October 1892, Sir Charles announced his intention to resign as second Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Queensland (1879–93). The catalyst was his behaviour throughout the 57-day civil trial of Queensland Investment and Land Mortgage Co Ltd v Grimley. Leading up to his resignation, Sir Charles increasingly eschewed norms of judicial detachment. Grimley was the final straw. 

This lecture examines the Grimley affair and considers the extent to which it, along with his behaviour in other proceedings of the time, brought into question Sir Charles’ ethics as a judge.


There will be refreshments in the Portrait Gallery after the lecture.

Register to attend this free lecture in person and please bring your ticket for quick check-in.

It will also be livestreamed to register to join this lecture via Zoom.

Arrival is 5.15pm for 5.30pm at the Banco Court, Queen Elizabeth II Courts of Law.

CPD points: 1 point per hour, self-assessed (BAQ and QLS)

For more information:

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