Acting Judge, District Court of New South Wales, Western District, 12/10/1932 - 16/12/1932
Acting Chairman, Courts of General and Quarter Sessions, Western District, 12/10/1932 - 16/12/1932
Acting Judge, District Court of New South Wales, Metropolitan District, 17/12/1932 - 31/12/1932
Acting Chairman, Courts of General and Quarter Sessions, Metropolitan District, 17/12/1932 - 31/12/1932
Acting Judge, District Court of New South Wales, Western District, 20/01/1933 - 31/03/1933
Acting Chairman, Courts of General and Quarter Sessions, Western District, 20/01/1933 - 31/03/1933
Judge, District Court of New South Wales, 01/04/1933 - 31/05/1949
Chairman, Courts of General and Quarter Sessions, 01/04/1933 - 31/05/1949
Acting Judge, Supreme Court of New South Wales, 01/06/1939 - 30/04/1940
Edmund Alfred Barton was born on 20 May 1879, the son of Rt. Hon. Sir Edmund Barton, first Prime Minister of Australia, and his wife Jane Mason nee Ross. He was educated at The King's School, Parramatta, where he won the Broughton and Forrest Exhibition, a scholarship given to ex-students of King's School who qualify to attend Oxford or Cambridge University. He graduated from New College, University of Oxford, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1900 with honours in classics. (1)
On his return to Australia, Barton was appointed to the Bar on 8 March 1906. He developed a wide practice in both Equity and Common Law, practising out of Wigram Chambers and, by 1911, Denman Chambers. From 1922 to 1923 he was a member of both the Barristers' Admission Board and the Solicitors' Admission Board. In 1926 he was an Examiner for the Barristers' Admission Board in Law and Equity. He was a member of the Council of the Bar of New South Wales from 1925/26 to 1931/32. In 1929 he delivered the WW Perry Lecture in legal ethics at the Law School of the University of Sydney. (2)
Barton was appointed an Acting Judge of the District Court and Chairman of Quarter Sessions for the Western District on 12 October 1932, to expire on 16 December. According to his biographer, HTE Holt, Barton and another acting judge had been appointed during the illness of Judge Curlewis. On 29 November 1932 Barton adjourned his partially heard case as the legality of his position had been called into question. The District Court Act did not allow for the appointment of Acting, only Deputy, Judges. Legislation was pushed through Parliament within two days to overcome this and validate the judgements of both judges. On 17 December 1932 Barton was again appointed an Acting District Court Judge and Chairman of Quarter Sessions, this time for the Metropolitan District, to expire on 31 December. On 29 January 1933 he was appointed an Acting District Court Judge and Chairman of Quarter Sessions for the Western District, to expire on 31 March. (3)
Barton became a permanent District Court Judge and Chairman of Quarter Sessions on 1 April 1933, for the Western District. By 1939 he was serving in the Metropolitan District and by 1945 he was Senior District Court Judge. He retired in May 1949. (4)
From 1 June 1939 until 30 April 1940 Barton sat as an Acting Judge in the Supreme Court of New South Wales. (5)
Barton retired in May 1949 at the age of seventy and died on 13 November 1949. He was survived by his wife, Ursula Katherine nee Crace, whom he married on 23 December 1911 at Canberra, and their two daughters. (6)
1. Who's Who in Australia, Melbourne, Herald and Weekly Times Ltd, 1938, p.59; 1941, p.98; 1944, pp.141-2; 1947, p.123; Australian Law Journal, Vol.23 (12 December 1949), p.474; HTE Holt, 'Edmund Alfred Barton' pp.193-6 in A Court Rises: the lives and times of the Judges of the District Court on New South Wales (1859-1959), North Sydney, Law Foundation of New South Wales, 1976; HJ Gibbney and Ann G Smith, A Biographical Register 1788-1939, Canberra, Australian Dictionary of Biography, 1987, Vol I, p.37.
2. Barristers Admission Board; NRS 13665, Roll of Barristers, 15 June 1876 - 1 December 1926; Reel 2147, p.15; New South Wales Law Almanacs, Sydney, NSW Govt Printer, 1907, p.47; 1909, pp.48, 52; 1911, pp.53, 60; 1918, pp.58, 66; 1922, pp.54, 64, 73; 1923, pp.51, 61, 70; 1926, pp.54, 65, 76; 1933, pp.69, 83; 'Bar Councillors 1902-2006', New South Wales Bar Association,
http://www.nswbar.asn.au/docs/about/history/bclist1920_1930.php, http://www.nswbar.asn.au/docs/about/history/bclist1930_1940.php (cited 11 December 2009); University of Sydney Calendar, 1930, p.371; 1936, p.401, http://calendararchive.usyd.edu.au/index.php (cited 27 May 2008).
3. NSW Government Gazette, No.148, 14 Oct 1932, p.3782; No.179, 9 Dec 1932, p.4315; No.19, 3 Feb 1933, p.533; HTE Holt, op.cit.
4. NSW Government Gazette, No.50, 31 March 1933, p.1162; New South Wales Law Almanacs, op.cit., 1934, p.52; 1939, p.53; 1945, p.51; 1949, p.48.
5. NSW Government Gazette, No.83, 2 June 1939, p.2830; No.103, 7 July 1939, p.3396; No.108, 21 July 1939, p.3549; No.167, 27 Oct 1939, p.5120; No.27, 16 Feb 1940, p.839;
NRS 5643, Notebooks: Causes [Acting Justice Barton]; [3/1838] 1 June 1939 - 10 April 1940; NRS 5645, Notebooks: Divorce [Acting Justice Barton]; [3/1839 pt] 21 Feb 1940 - 29 April 1940.
6. HTE Holt, op.cit.; Who's Who in Australia, op.cit.