Edward Arthur Dunphy

Hon. Edward Arthur Dunphy QC (18 June 1907—29 January 1989) was a justice within the Australian federal court system.

Dunphy was born 18 June 1907 in Perth, Western Australia, the son of William Henry Dunphy, and was educated at the Christian Brothers' College, Perth. He married Ethel Marshall Nunn on 19 December 1935, and they were the parents of two sons and three daughters. He was admitted to the Bar in 1932, was Western Australia's Crown Solicitor in May 1938 until September 1945[1][2] and appointed as a King's Counsel in 1944,[3] and it was believed that he was then the youngest KC in Australia. In 1949, he was appointed to the Industrial Court and sat on the 1950 Basic Wage case, which made the decision to award a £1 a week pay rise which broke the barrier of £10 a week.[4][5] and proceeded to sit on a succession of other courts within the federal and territorial jurisdictions until 1983.

Dunphy was the sole remaining judge of the Industrial Court which was disbanded and duties taken over by the industrial edition of the Federal Court. He gained some notoriety towards the end of his judicial career for not bending to political will for him to retire when past seventy years of age,[6] following the passing of the 1977 referendum on judicial retirement age. He remained a judge appointed for life, though it was stated by the government as unable to be appoint him to another court due his being past the designated retirement age, a claim that Dunphy rejected saying that other judges over 70 had already been appointed to other courts.[4] He retired from the bench in 1983, and died in 1989.[7]

Judicial appointments[3]Edit


  1. ^ Joseph A. Alexander, ed. (1947). Who's Who in Australia (13 ed.). Melbourne: The Herald Press. p. 303.
  2. ^ Joseph A. Alexander, ed. (1950). Who's Who in Australia (14 ed.). Melbourne: Colorgravure Publications. p. 230.
  3. ^ a b "The Hon. Edward Arthur Dunphy (1961 - 1979)". Supreme Court of the Northern Territory. Archived from the original on 16 October 2017. Retrieved 30 January 2016.
  4. ^ a b "A judge 'fit as a mallee bull' who will not fade away". The Canberra Times. 18 October 1980. p. 2. Retrieved 30 January 2016 – via National Library of Australia.
  5. ^ Joseph A. Alexander, ed. (1944). Who’s Who in Australia, 1944 (12 ed.). Sydney: Angus & Robertson. p. 313.
  6. ^ "Judge lacks support, Bowen says". The Canberra Times. 22 October 1980. p. 14. Retrieved 30 January 2016 – via National Library of Australia.
  7. ^ Kirby, Michael (September 1989). "The Removal of Justice Staples and the Silent Forces of Industrial Relations" (PDF). The Journal of Industrial Relations: 334–71. Retrieved 30 January 2016. [Dunphy] died on 29 January 1989.
  8. ^ "Appointment Edward Dunphy" (PDF). Cth Gazette. 26 May 1949. p. 1517.
  9. ^ "Appointments Industrial Court and Arbitration Commission" (PDF). Cth Gazette. 4 September 1956. pp. 2701A–2701D.
  10. ^ "Appointment of the Honourable Edward Arthur Dunphy as a Judge of the Supreme Court of Norfolk Island" (PDF). Cth Gazette. 17 March 1969. p. 2686.