Hayden Starke
Sir Hayden Erskine Starke KCMG
Order of St Michael and St George
The Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George is an order of chivalry founded on 28 April 1818 by George, Prince Regent, later George IV of the United Kingdom, while he was acting as Prince Regent for his father, George III....

 (22February 1871 – 1958), an Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

n judge, was a justice of the High Court of Australia
High Court of Australia
The High Court of Australia is the supreme court in the Australian court hierarchy and the final court of appeal in Australia. It has both original and appellate jurisdiction, has the power of judicial review over laws passed by the Parliament of Australia and the parliaments of the States, and...


Starke was born in the town of Creswick
Creswick, Victoria
Creswick is a town in west-central Victoria, Australia. It is located 18 kilometres north of Ballarat and 129 km northwest of Melbourne, in Shire of Hepburn. It is 430 metres above sea level. At the 2006 census, Creswick had a population of 2,485...

, Victoria
Victoria (Australia)
Victoria is the second most populous state in Australia. Geographically the smallest mainland state, Victoria is bordered by New South Wales, South Australia, and Tasmania on Boundary Islet to the north, west and south respectively....

 in 1871. He was educated at the Scotch College
Scotch College, Melbourne
Scotch College, Melbourne is an independent, Presbyterian, day and boarding school for boys, located in Hawthorn, an inner-eastern suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia....

 in Melbourne.

He completed a course as an articled clerk
Articled clerk
An articled clerk, also known as an articling student, is an apprentice in a professional firm in Commonwealth countries. Generally the term arises in the accountancy profession and in the legal profession. The articled clerk signs a contract, known as "articles of clerkship", committing to a...

 in 1892, and was admitted to the Victorian Bar
Victorian Bar
The Victorian Bar is the bar association for the Australian State of Victoria. Its members are barristers registered to practice in Victoria. On 19 January 2006, there were 1627 counsel practising as members of the Victorian Bar. Once a barrister has been admitted to practice by the Supreme Court...

 later that year, having won the annual Prize in Law from the Supreme Court of Victoria
Supreme Court of Victoria
The Supreme Court of Victoria is the superior court for the State of Victoria, Australia. It was founded in 1852, and is a superior court of common law and equity, with unlimited jurisdiction within the state...

. He practised as a barrister
A barrister is a member of one of the two classes of lawyer found in many common law jurisdictions with split legal professions. Barristers specialise in courtroom advocacy, drafting legal pleadings and giving expert legal opinions...

 until he was appointed to the bench of the High Court in 1920. Between 1903 (when the High Court was created) and 1920, he appeared before the court 211 times, more than any other justice of the court. From 1920 to 1921, Starke was the Deputy President of the Commonwealth Court of Conciliation and Arbitration
Commonwealth Court of Conciliation and Arbitration
The Commonwealth Court of Conciliation and Arbitration is a defunct Australian court, which had jurisdiction to arbitrate interstate industrial disputes....


Starke was a mentor to John Latham
John Latham (Australian jurist)
Sir John Greig Latham GCMG QC was an Australian judge and politician who served as fifth Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia for seventeen years, from 1935 to 1952.-Biography:...

, an Attorney-General of Australia
Attorney-General of Australia
The Attorney-General of Australia is the first law officer of the Crown, chief law officer of the Commonwealth of Australia and a minister of the Crown. The Attorney-General is usually a member of the Federal Cabinet, but there is no constitutional requirement that this be the case since the...

 and later Chief Justice of Australia
Chief Justice of Australia
The Chief Justice of Australia is the informal title for the presiding justice of the High Court of Australia and the highest-ranking judicial officer in the Commonwealth of Australia...

, although there was later friction between them, when Latham was Chief Justice. Starke had a reputation for being upfront and independent. Although it is common practice for the Chief Justice to compose a list of proposals, identifying which justice will hear which case, Starke would regularly arrive and hear cases, often without notice. Starke had a tendency to dissent from the majority opinions offered by the likes of Latham and Owen Dixon
Owen Dixon
Sir Owen Dixon, OM, GCMG, KC Australian judge and diplomat, was the sixth Chief Justice of Australia. A justice of the High Court for thirty-five years, Dixon was one of the leading jurists in the English-speaking world and is widely regarded as Australia's greatest ever jurist.-Education:Dixon...

. To some extent, commentators have attributed this to personal disagreements with the other justices, as well as his ideological independence. Starke thought that some justices, such as Edward McTiernan
Edward McTiernan
Sir Edward Aloysius McTiernan, KBE , was an Australian jurist, lawyer and politician. He served as an Australian Labor Party member of both the New South Wales Legislative Assembly and federal House of Representatives before being appointed to the High Court of Australia in 1930...

, and George Rich
George Rich
Sir George Edward Rich KCMG PC , Australian judge, was a justice of the High Court of Australia.Rich was born in the town of Braidwood, New South Wales, in 1863. He was educated at Sydney Grammar School, and later studied at the University of Sydney, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in...

, were too heavily under the influence of Owen Dixon, and is said to have referred to them as "parrots" and "worms".

In 1939, Starke was created a Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George
Order of St Michael and St George
The Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George is an order of chivalry founded on 28 April 1818 by George, Prince Regent, later George IV of the United Kingdom, while he was acting as Prince Regent for his father, George III....

. He resigned from the High Court on 31 January 1950. Starke died in 1958. A Chair of Law is named after him at the law school of Monash University
Monash University
Monash University is a public university based in Melbourne, Victoria. It was founded in 1958 and is the second oldest university in the state. Monash is a member of Australia's Group of Eight and the ASAIHL....

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