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Lionel Murphy, High Court Justice, Whitlam’s Attorney-General, Dies, 64

High Court Justice Lionel Murphy died on October 21, 1986, following a short battle with cancer.

Murphy, a former Labor senator (1962-75), was Attorney-General in the Whitlam government (1972-75), until he was appointed to the High Court in February 1975. His appointment was controversial and resulted in the NSW government breaking the convention that Senate vacancies were filled by someone from the same political party.

In 1985, Murphy was convicted of attempting to pervert the course of justice. It was charged that he had sought to influence a court case against a Sydney solicitor, Morgan Ryan. The NSW Court of Appeals overturned the conviction and ordered a second trial, which acquitted Murphy in April 1986. [Read more…]