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Lawyers pay tribute to Queen Elizabeth

Legal member associations across the country have offered condolences on the passing of the late Queen. 

user iconJerome Doraisamy 12 September 2022 Big Law
Lawyers pay tribute to Queen Elizabeth

Credit: | The Royal Household © Crown Copyright

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Queen Elizabeth II, the longest reigning monarch in British history, served as head of state of the United Kingdom and Australia for over seven decades; a period during which Australia had 17 prime ministers.

Her majesty has been a bedrock of stability in our system of parliamentary democracy and for the rule of law throughout the Commonwealth, noted the NSW Bar Association.

“At the beginning of her reign, the Queen pledged to devote her ‘whole life’ to her duties as monarch, a promise she fulfilled when appointing Britain’s new Prime Minister just two days before she died,” the Law Society of NSW said in a statement. 


“During her reign of 70 years, the Queen was a constant in the lives of many millions across the Commonwealth of Nations and the world, gaining broad respect for her grace and steadfastness in a period of immense change in the world. 

“Her majesty’s dignity and dedication to duty spanning generations has been an inspiration to many.”

“Her majesty’s eventful life was one of extraordinary service and dedication,” said the Bar Association of Queensland.

“Her majesty served the people of Australia, the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth with unfailing dignity, compassion, intelligence, and grace over seven remarkable decades,” said president of the Australian Bar Association (ABA) Dr Matt Collins AM KC.

“Australia has been very well served by, and owes much of its stability and prosperity to, the institutions and Westminster traditions of which her majesty has been a vital and wise custodian.” 

“Australians’ views on the role of the monarchy may differ and for many Indigenous people in particular, the institution represents the pain and dispossession they have experienced since colonisation,” the Law Society of NSW noted. 

“Through her 70-year reign, the Queen has been a constant figure in our lives,” said Tania Wolff, president of the Law Institute of Victoria. 

“Her life’s work exemplifies the qualities of dedication, commitment, compassion, dignity and an extraordinary work ethic.

“On behalf of the solicitors in the state of Victoria, we pay tribute to and thank her for that.”

In a statement issued first to Lawyers Weekly, the ABA confirmed that the designation of Queen’s counsel (QC) has changed to King’s counsel (KC). 

“Each working day, NSW lawyers engage in the administration of justice in courtrooms, many of which bear the coat of arms of the United Kingdom, symbolising the source of Australia’s rule of law,” said the Law Society of NSW. 

“Prosecutors represent her in countless criminal cases where her majesty is listed as a party identified as ‘Regina’ or simply ‘The Queen’.” 

On behalf of Australia’s more than 6,000 barristers, the ABA offered heartfelt condolences to the family of Queen Elizabeth II.

“On this sad day, the legal profession joins in mourning the death of her majesty and in offering our best wishes to her successor, King Charles III,” said Mr Collins.

“The Law Society conveys our condolences to the royal family and the people of the United Kingdom,” said the Law Society of NSW. 

“The NSW Bar joins the profession in mourning and offering condolences to our new King and the royal family,” said the NSW Bar Association.

“As the world mourns the loss of a truly remarkable and much loved woman, we too join in sending our sincere condolences to his majesty King Charles III and the royal family,” said Ms Wolff.

The Victorian Bar expressed its warmest wishes to our new King of Australia, his majesty Charles III and extended its deepest condolences to the King and the royal family. President Róisín Annesley KC penned an InBrief message noting that she was “saddened” to learn of the death of her majesty.

“Her majesty’s presence and longevity reminded us all of the importance of continuity and stability in our constitutional arrangements. Her rectitude, dedication to duty, modesty, dignity and compassion served as an example to us all. Our thoughts are with her majesty’s family at this sad time,” she wrote. 

Elsewhere, Ironbridge Legal partner Trevor Withane — a British citizen practising in Australia — reflected that he woke up on Friday morning to a message from his father, who lives in London, stating: “Hello son, just to give you sad news. Our Queen died this afternoon …”. 

“That was the message of a man who had grown up in an independent Sri Lanka which was and is part of the Commonwealth, which the Queen helped to build and maintain. I was indeed saddened by the news, which deepened as I searched for my black tie,” he told Lawyers Weekly.

“As an often home-sick Brit, practising law in Australia, I have been comforted Australia’s membership of the Commonwealth of which the Queen, under whom I grew up in London, was head until 2018 — in that role she was the leader who ‘the free association of independent member nations’. And, freedom is one of the things we, as lawyers, strive to establish and uphold.

“Personally, for me, the Queen has been a significant role model. 

“I have been inspired by her dedication to selfless service, something as an officer of the court and leader of the people who make up Ironbridge Legal, I strive to implement. I have also been inspired by her dedication to her role, not looking forward to retirement as we do but rather working until the day she died. And, finally her humility and insight in recognising the need for change, such as the move away from a deferential society which led to her adapting the royal family to better align.

“Finally, I acknowledge the Queen for upholding the UK Constitution — in that, in recognising parliamentary sovereignty and democracy at the ballot box, ‘what the Queen-in-Parliament enact[ed was] law’. 

“She did not interfere, but no doubt provided much useful private guidance. As the Queen passes, I hope to be able to draw on these lessons as I continue to evolve as a lawyer and leader.”

Jerome Doraisamy

Jerome Doraisamy

Jerome Doraisamy is the editor of Lawyers Weekly. A former lawyer, he has worked at Momentum Media as a journalist on Lawyers Weekly since February 2018, and has served as editor since March 2022. He is also the host of all five shows under The Lawyers Weekly Podcast Network, and has overseen the brand's audio medium growth from 4,000 downloads per month to over 60,000 downloads per month, making The Lawyers Weekly Show the most popular industry-specific podcast in Australia. Jerome is also the author of The Wellness Doctrines book series, an admitted solicitor in NSW, and a board director of Minds Count.

You can email Jerome at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

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