Challis Lecturer in Bankruptcy, University of Sydney, 1952 - 1955
Acting Judge, Supreme Court of New South Wales, 15/09/1955 - 04/12/1955
Puisne Judge, Supreme Court of New South Wales, 05/12/1955 - 28/02/1973
Chairman, Law Reform Commission NSW, 01/01/1966 - 03/10/1969
Judge of Appeal, Court of Appeal, Supreme Court of New South Wales, 01/10/1969 - 28/02/1973
Sir James Kenneth Manning was born on 26 May 1907 at North Sydney, New South Wales, the son of Herbert William Manning and his wife Mary Elsie Stella Mackenzie nee Clarke. He was educated at Sydney Church of England Grammar School. (1)
Manning was admitted as a solicitor on 14 March 1930 through the Solicitors Admission Board and his offices were at 107 Elizabeth Street, Sydney. By 1935 he had formed the firm of JK Manning and Simpson and by 1936 the firm of Manning Riddle and Company with offices at 112 Pitt Street. Manning was called to the New South Wales Bar on 25 October 1940. His chambers were at 167 Phillip Street and from 1946 at 142 Phillip Street. (2)
During World War II Manning enlisted in the Royal Australian Air Force on 2 June 1941. He served in New Guinea in 1942 and was Mentioned in Dispatches for distinguished service in the South West Pacific area, recommended by the Governor-General on 29 March 1944. In April 1944 he was made Deputy-Director of Personnel Services at Air Force Headquarters, Melbourne, and in October 1944 was made an Acting Wing Commander. When he was discharged on 22 January 1946 he held the rank of Squadron Leader. (3)
Manning was interested in legal professional development. After the war he returned to his practise as a barrister. He worked in all jurisdictions but specialised in bankruptcy and commercial matters. He was made a Queen's Counsel in 1953. A Council member of the New South Wales Bar Association from 1949/50 to 1952/53, he was Honorary Treasurer from 1949/50 to 1951/52. He was one of the five original Board Members of Counsel's Chambers Limited, appointed a director on 24 October 1952. Resigning on 22 November 1956 after his appointment as a judge, he was immediately appointed an Associate Director, an office he held till 2 December 1963. Counsel's Chambers was responsible for building Wentworth Chambers and Selborne Chambers as accommodation for barristers. Sir Garfield Barwick, president of the Bar at the time and a fellow foundation director, claimed that along with Manning's business acumen, his 'initiative and tenacity were not merely indispensable; they were the mainspring of the success...'. (4) Manning was the co-author with Douglas Farquharson of 'The Law of Banker and Customer in Australia' (Sydney, 1947) and with L G Bohringer wrote the Third edition of 'McDonald, Henry and Meek's Australian Bankruptcy: Law and Practice' (Sydney, 1953). Manning was Challis Lecturer in Bankruptcy at the Faculty of Law, University of Sydney, from 1952 to 1955. (5)
Manning was appointed an Acting Judge of the Supreme Court of New South Wales by 15 September 1955. On 5 December 1955, his appointment was made permanent. Manning was Chairman of the Law Reform Commission from 1 January 1966 until 3 October 1969. On 1 October 1969 he was made a Judge of Appeal in the Court of Appeal. On 28 February 1973 he retired as a Judge of Appeal and a Puisne Judge of the Supreme Court of New South Wales due to ill health. From time to time he was an Acting Judge in the Federal Court of Bankruptcy. On 1 January 1972 he was created a Knight Bachelor for his services to the law. (6)
In addition, Manning was Chairman of the Commonwealth Bills of Exchange Review Committee in 1962. He was a director of the North Shore Gas Company from 1954 and a councillor and honorary treasurer of the Royal Blind Society of New South Wales. (7)
Manning died on 11 August 1976 at Balmoral Beach, Sydney, survived by his second wife Sheila Alison Newton nee Barker, whom he married on 16 December 1967, and a daughter from his first marriage to Dorothy May Coleman on 24 December 1931, which ended in divorce. (8)
1. Who's Who in Australia, Melbourne, The Herald and Weekly Times Ltd, 1955, p.522; 1959, p.537; 1962, p.573; 1965, p.574; 1968, p.589; 1971, p.651; 1974, p.705; 1977, p.746; Australian Law Journal, Vol.50, p.487 (September 1976); John Kennedy McLaughlin, 'Manning, Sir James Kenneth (1907-1976)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, Online Edition, http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/biogs/A150354b.htm (cited 11 January 2008).
2. Barrister and Solicitors Admission Boards; NRS 13667, Roll of Solicitors, 17 February 1927 - 20 November 1936; Reel 2147, p.15; Barrister and Solicitors Admission Boards; NRS 13665, Roll of Barristers, 17 February 1927 - 10 June 1955; Reel 2147, p.16; New South Wales Law Almanac, Sydney, NSW Government Printer, 1931, p.105; 1935, p.114; 1936, p.116; 1940, p.95; 1941, p.71; 1946, p.66; 1947, p.67; 1949, p.67; 1954, p.79; 1955, p.80.
3. Who's Who in Australia, op.cit.; Australian Law Journal, op.cit.; John Kennedy McLaughlin, 'Manning, Sir James Kenneth (1907-1976)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, op.cit.; 'Manning, James Kenneth', Department of Veterans Affairs World War 2 Nominal Roll http://www.ww2roll.gov.au/script/veteran.asp?ServiceID=R&VeteranID=1056487 (cited 11 November 2008); 'Australian War Memorial (Index to Recommendations: Second World War ...' James Kenneth Manning, http://www.awm.gov.au/honours/awm192/persons.asp?p=003190687 (cited 11 November 2008).
4. Australian Law Journal, Vol.29, p.293 (15 September 1955); Vol.47, pp.157-8 (April 1973); Vol.50, p.487 (September 1976); New South Wales Law Almanac, Sydney, NSW Government Printer, 1950, p.55; 1951, p.57; 1952, p.57; 1953, p.61; Wentworth Chambers 50th Anniversary' pp.1-2, 6-7, 10 http://www.councilchambers.com.au/50th/index.html (cited 11 November 2008); Australian Law Journal Vol.47, p.157 (April 1973).
5. Australian Law Journal, Vol.50, p.487 (September 1976); University of Sydney Calendar, 1953, p.46; 1954, pp.773, 987; 1955, p.694, http://calendararchive.usyd.edu.au/index.php (cited 22 June 2008).
6. State Reports New South Wales, Sydney, Law Book Company Ltd, Vol.55 (1955), p.ii; Vol.69 (1969), p.viii; New South Wales Law Reports, Sydney, Law Book Company Ltd, 1973, Vol.1; Australian Law Journal, Vol.29, p.293 (15 September 1955); p.646 (22 March 1956); Law Reform Commission, First Report as at 30th June, 1968, in Joint Volume of Papers Presented to the Legislative Council and Legislative Assembly, 1968-69, Vol.3, p.897; Law Reform Commission, Third Report as at 30th June, 1970, op.cit., 1969-70-71, Vol.5, p.493; It's an honour website http://www.itsanhonour.gov.au (cited 23 January 2008).
7. John Kennedy McLaughlin, 'Manning, Sir James Kenneth (1907-1976)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, op.cit.
8. ibid; Sydney Morning Herald 12 August 1973, p.34; Who's Who in Australia, op.cit.