Judge of the Supreme Court of New South Wales, 29/11/1965-1988.
Judge of Appeal, 1972-1974.
Chief Judge in Equity, 1972-1974.
Judge of the Land and Valuation Court of New South Wales, 1974-1988.
Chief Justice of New South Wales, 1974-1988
Lieutenant - Governor of New South Wales, 1974-1989.
Sir Laurence Whistler Street was born in Sydney on the 3 July 1926. He was the son of Hon. Sir Kenneth .and Jessie Whistler Street, a leading Social activist. He was also the grandson of Hon. Sir Phillip Street . He attended Cranbrook School, Bellevue Hill. At the age of seventeen he enlisted in the Royal Australian Navy as an ordinary seamen. He was subsequently promoted to Midshipman (1944 - 1945), Sub Lieutenant (1945 - 1947) and served overseas in the last stages of the Second World War. (1)
He graduated from Sydney University in 1950 with an honours law degree. While he was a law student he was Associate to Sir William Owen, who at that stage was a Judge of the Supreme Court. Laurence Street was admitted to the Bar on 9 February 1951, and established a large practice specializing in equity, commercial law and admiralty (2). He was appointed as a Queens Counsel in 1963. (3)
He was appointed a Judge of the Supreme Court on 29 November 1965. He was subsequently appointed a Judge of Appeal and Chief Judge in Equity. Upon the resignation of Sir John Kerr he was appointed Chief Justice on NSW on 28 June 1974. He was appointed Lieutenant - Governor on 28 May 1974. He was appointed K.C.M.G and Knight of St John in 1976. (4)
In 1983 Street presided over the Street Royal Commission, which investigated whether any alleged intervention by had been made on behalf of Kevin Humphreys to cause his acquittal from misappropriation charges. The intervention on August 11, 1977 was allegedly made by M. F. Farquhar, Chairman of the Metropolitan Bench of Stipendiary Magistrates on the request of the then Premier Neville Wran. Street presented his findings in a report on 28 July 1997, and concluded " Farquhar had influenced the outcome of Humphrey's committal, but found nothing but rumour and hearsay to suggest that the Premier was involved in the case." Farquhar was subsequently convicted of perverting the course of Justice. (5)
In 1952 he married Susan Gai Watt, and the couple had two sons and two daughters. His second marriage was to Penelope Ferguson. The couple had one daughter. (6)
He was a member of many associations including the Public Accountants registration board, and the Companies Auditors Board. He Lectured at the Law school of University of Sydney, and was President of the Sydney University Law Graduates Association. Upon appointment to the bench he held office as President of the Courts Martial Appeals Tribunal and the President of the Cranbrook School Council. (7)
He retired as Chief Justice on 1 November 1988. Upon his retirement he became a member of many boards and associations relating to International Law. These included Chairmanship of the International Legal Services Advisory Council, (1990 -) and World President of the International Law Association. (1990 -1992). (8)
1. http://www.lawlink.nsw.gov.au/history/lah.nsf/pages/lwstreet p.1 Website accessed 7/12/2001
2. ibid p.1
3. Who's Who in Australia 2001. Information Australian Group Pty Ltd., Melbourne, 2001, p 1691
4. op cit lawlink p.1
5. Hilary Golder, High and Responsible Office; a history of the NSW Magistracy, Sydney University Press, Sydney, 1991, p. 200
6. op cit lawlink p.1
7. ibid p.1
8. op cit. Who's Who p. 1691