Acting Challis Lecturer and Challis Lecturer in Equity and Equity Practice, University of Sydney, 1940-1941, 1945-1951
Assistant to Judge Advocate General, 1942 - 1944
Judge of all District Courts of NSW, 12/09/1952 - 20/09/1967
Chairman of all Quarter Sessions, 12/09/1952 - 20/09/1967
Acting Judge, Supreme Court of New South Wales, 12/01/1953 - 08/02/1953, 11/06/1956 - 26/10/1956
Frank Carter Stephen was born on 15 May 1901 at Randwick, Sydney, the son of Thomas Haigh Stephen and his wife Lily nee Carter. He was educated at Chatswood Preparatory School, Sydney Church of England Grammar School, and St Paul's College, University of Sydney (BA 1923, LLB 1926 First Class Honours). He won the Wigram Allen Scholarship No.1 in 1923 (tied with HR Sendall), the Pitt Cobbett Prize No.1 in 1923 (tied with HR Sendall), and was runner up to HR Sendall for the Pitt Cobbett Prize No.2 in 1924. The Wigram Allen Scholarship was awarded for general proficiency in the subjects of Part 1 of the Intermediate LLB exam and the Pitt Cobbett Prizes were awarded for achievement in Constitutional Law and Public International Law. (1)
Stephen was admitted to the New South Wales Bar on 6 May 1926. He specialised in equity in his law practise. As well he was Acting Challis Lecturer in Equity and Equity Practice at the University of Sydney from 1940 to 1941, 1945/46 to 1949 and Challis Lecturer in Equity and Equity Practice for 1950 and 1951. He was a Council member of the NSW Bar Association from 1938/39 to 1940/41. He edited the sixth edition of Sir Frederick Jordan's Chapters in Equity in New South Wales, published by the University of Sydney Law School in 1945. He became a Queen's Counsel circa 1953. (2)
During World War 2, Stephen joined the Australian Army Legal Department. He enlisted on 10 March 1941, becoming Assistant to the Judge Advocate General with the rank of Major. He served in Western Australia and was discharged on 7 January 1945. (3)
Stephen was appointed a Judge of all District Courts and Chairman of Quarter Sessions on 12 September 1952, serving in the Metropolitan District in 1953-1954 and all Districts thereafter. He retired on 20 September 1967. (4)
In 1953 and 1956, Stephen was one of a number of District Court judges appointed as an Acting Judge of the Supreme Court of New South Wales to help cut backlogs in the Common Law and divorce courts. He worked in the Matrimonial Causes Jurisdiction from 12 January to 8 February 1953 and the Common Law Jurisdiction from 11 June to 26 October 1956. (5)
Stephen died on 7 September 1971. On 2 July 1931 he married Morag Graeme nee MacDonald. She also died in September 1971. (6)
1. Who's Who in Australia, Melbourne, The Herald, 1955, p.720; 1959, p.755; 1965, p.802; 1968, p.799; 1971, p.860; HJH Henchman, A Court Rises: the lives and times of the judges of the District Court of New South Wales. Supplement No.1, 1959-1982, Judge 62, Syd., Law Foundation of New South Wales, 1982, n.p.; University of Sydney Calendar, 1927, pp.395, 434, 489, 645, 653; 1928, p.777, http://calendararchive.usyd.edu.au/index.php (cited 12 May 2008).
2. Barristers Admission Board; NRS 13665, Roll of Barristers, 1876-1926; Reel 2147, p.28; University of Sydney Calendar, op.cit., 1940, p.446; 1941, p.408; 1945/46, p.242; 1947, p.307; 1948, p.309; 1949, p.325; 1950, p.335; New South Wales Law Almanac, Sydney, NSW Government Printer, 1939, p.58; 1940, p.60; 1941, p.60; 1954, p.56; Who's Who in Australia, op.cit.
3. Henchman, op.cit.; Department of Veteran Affairs, World War 2 Nominal Roll, Frank Carter Stephen, Service Number NX156086 (N108045), http://www.ww2roll.gov.au/script/veteran.asp?ServiceID=A&VeteranID=261955 (cited 27 May 2008).
4. Henchman, op.cit.; New South Wales Law Almanac, Sydney, NSW Government Printer, 1953, p.52; 1954, p.56; 1955, p.57.
5. Attorney General's Department [III]; NRS 333, Letters received - Special Bundles, 1874-1984; [12/4598.3] Employment of Acting Judges, 1952-1960.
6. Henchman, op.cit.; Supreme Court of NSW, Probate Index, Series 4, No.725382, Frank Carter Stephen, died 7 September 1971; Who's Who in Australia, op.cit.; Sydney Morning Herald, death notice 23 September 1971.