Acting lecturer, University of Sydney, 01/01/1941 - 27/04/1952
Puisne Judge, Supreme Court of New South Wales, 28/04/1952 - 28/04/1973
Chief Judge in Equity and Probate, Supreme Court of New South Wales, 08/09/1958 - 30/09/1972
Judge of Appeal, Supreme Court of New South Wales, 01/01/1966 - 28/04/1973
Charles McLelland was born on 20 June 1904 at Paisley, Scotland, the son of David McLelland. His family arrived in Australia in May 1912 and lived at Ipswich, Queensland, for about three years before moving to Sydney, NSW. He was educated at Fort Street High School where he received an exhibition bursary to the University of Sydney. He graduated from the University of Sydney (BA 1926 Class 1 Honours Psychology, LLB 1929 Class 1 Honours). In 1927 he shared with W S Sheldon the Morven Nolan Memorial Prize for Political Science, and the George and Matilda Harris Scholarship No.1 for general proficiency in law in the results of the Second Year exam. In the same year McLelland also won the Pitt Cobbett Prize No.2 for proficiency in public international law. (1)
McLelland was admitted as a solicitor on 22 November 1929 and worked at the firm of Messrs Sly and Russell. He was admitted to the NSW Bar on 4 March 1932. He practised primarily in common law and equity. He was a member of the council of the NSW Bar Association from 1944/45 to 1951/52. He was an acting lecturer at the University of Sydney from 1941 to 1952, mainly in Company Law and Practice, but also during 1942-44 in Bankruptcy Law and Practice and in 1942 in Private International Law. The loss of an eye at age eleven stopped him serving in the military during World War II. McLelland's appointment as a King's Counsel was originally approved by the Executive Council on 27 September 1950. However a spelling mistake in the original certificate saw it re-issued correctly on 1 November 1950. (2)
McLelland had a number of judicial roles. He was appointed to the Supreme Court of New South Wales on 28 April 1952 in the Equity jurisdiction. He also dealt with company matters. He was made Chief Judge in Equity and Probate on 8 September 1958 following the death of Justice Roper. He was appointed a Judge of Appeal on 1 January 1966. He resigned as Chief Judge in Equity and Probate in late 1972 due to ill health and retired from the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal on 28 April 1973. (3)
McLelland died on 10 May 1985, survived by his wife, Helena Muriel nee Willcock whom he married on 21 December 1934, and his son Malcolm Herbert McLelland who like his father became a judge of the Supreme Court and Chief Judge in Equity. (4)
1. Who's Who in Australia, Melbourne, The Herald, 1955, p.510; 1959, p.523; 1962, p.557; 1965, p.558; 1968, p.574; 1971, p.636; 1974, p.688; 1977, p.726; 1980, p.565; 1983, p.571; 1985, p.567; Australian Law Journal, Vol.59, p.580 (September 1985); University of Sydney Calendar 1928, pp.408, 440, 464, 491, 559; 1930, pp.513, 680,697, 898, http://calendararchive.usyd.edu.au/index.php (cited 12 May 2008).
2. Barrister and Solicitors Admission Boards; NRS 13667, Roll of Solicitors, 17 February 1927 to 20 November 1936; Reel 2147, p.14; Barrister and Solicitors Admission Boards; NRS 13665, Roll of Barristers, 17 February 1927 - 10 June 1955; Reel 2147, p.5; New South Wales Law Almanac, Sydney, NSW Govt Printer, 1945, p.55; 1946, p.55; 1947, p.55; 1949, p.55; 1950, p.55; 1951, p.57; 1952, p.57; University of Sydney Calendar, op.cit., 1941, pp.44, 408; 1942, pp.32, 41-2, 336-8; 1943-44, pp.30, 226; 1945-46, pp.30, 243; 1952, pp.48, 655 cited 27 May, 19 June 2008; Australian Law Journal, op.cit.; Who's Who in Australia, op.cit.; Attorney General's Department [III]; NRS 333, Letters received - Special Bundles, 1874-1984; [10/42917] Correspondence re appointment of King's Counsels, 1898-1941.
3. New South Wales Law Almanac for 1975, Sydney, NSW Govt Printer, 1975, pp.45, 49; Australian Law Journal, Vol.26, p.19 (22 May 1952); Vol.32, p.158 (23 September 1958); Vol.46, p.478 (September 1972).
4. Who's Who, op.cit.; Sydney Morning Herald, death notice, 14 May 1985.