Puisne Judge, Supreme Court of New South Wales, 01/08/1940 - 26/09/1950
Judge exercising Matrimonial Causes Jurisdiction, Supreme Court of New South Wales, 01/08/1940 - 26/09/1950
Reginald Schofield Bonney was born in Sydney, circa 1883, the son of Ernest A. Bonney and his wife, Mary Henrietta nee Ickerson. He was educated at Sydney High School and the University of Sydney (BA 1904, LLB 1907). When he undertook his BA, he studied Latin and Greek but also took science based subjects. Whilst studying for his Bachelor of Laws in 1906, he also studied geology. He was active in university organisations even after he graduated: Sydney University Union (1904/05 to 1913/14, Treasurer 1905/05, Vice-President 1911/12); Sydney University Science Society (1905/06 - 1911/12, Vice-president 1911/12), and the Sydney University Law Society (1907-1914, Secretary 1907, Vice-president 1910-1913). (1)
Bonney was admitted to the New South Wales Bar on 24 May 1907 and made a King's Counsel circa 1928. His private practice was primarily in the Equity jurisdiction, specialising in the law of patents, copyright, trade marks and design. He complied a digest of Patent Law and Practice which, whilst never published, was often used by other lawyers. He appeared frequently in the High Court of Australia and in 1935 visited London and appeared before the Privy Council for the respondent in the Paper Sacks Case (53 R.P.C. 31). While there he was admitted to the English Bar and became a member of Gray's Inn. He was a member of the Council of the Bar of New South Wales from 1921/1922 to 1935/36 and assistant secretary in 1925/26. He was a member of the Council of its successor, the New South Wales Bar Association, from 1936/37 to 1939/40 and vice-president from 1936/37 to 1939/40. Bonney was president of the Law Council of Australia in 1940. (2)
Bonney was raised to the New South Wales Supreme Court from 1 August 1940 as a Puisne Judge and as Judge exercising the Matrimonial Causes Jurisdiction, a position he held until his death. He was foundation president of the Medico-Legal Society of New South Wales from 19 September 1947 to his death. (3)
Bonney died at Royal North Shore Hospital, St Leonards, on 26 September 1950, survived by his wife Lillian nee Butler, whom he married circa 1913. (4)
1. Who's Who in Australia, Melbourne, The Herald and Weekly Times, 1941, p.122; 1944, p.170; 1947, p.154; 1950, p.99; University of Sydney Calendars, 1901, p.225; 1902, pp.235-41; 1903, pp.252-54; 1904, pp.253, 302, 323; 1905, 353, 417; 1906, pp.282, 359, 363, 430, 431; 1907, pp.300, 314, 456, 458; 1908, pp.361, 371, 461-4; 1909, pp.470-72; 1910, pp.523-25; 1911, pp.531-33; 1912, pp.552-55; 1913, pp.544-45, 554-55; 1914, p.560; 1915, p.649, http://calendararchive.usyd.edu.au/index.php cited 12 May 2008; Australian Law Journal, Vol.14 (1940), p.160; Vol.24 (1950), p.252.
2. Barristers Admission Board; NRS 13665, Roll of Barristers, 1876-1926; Reel 2147, p.16; Who's Who in Australia, op.cit.; Australian Law Journal, op.cit.; 'Bar Councillors 1902-2006', New South Wales Bar Association, http://www.nswbar.asn.au/docs/about/history/bclist1920_1930.php (cited 22 January 2008); New South Wales Law Almanac, Sydney, NSW Government Printer, 1932, p.56; 1933, p.56; 1934, p.57; 1935, p.57; 1936, p.58; 1937, p.58; 1938, p.58; 1939, p.58; 1940, p.60; 'Law Council of Australia - Law Council Past Presidents', http://www.lawcouncil.asn.au/pastpres.html cited 21 April 2008.
3. New South Wales Government Gazette, No.105, 2 August 1940, p.3204; New South Wales Law Almanac for 1950, Sydney, NSW Govt Printer, 1950, p.42; JM Bennett (ed), A History of the New South Wales Bar, Sydney, Law Book Company Ltd and NSW Bar Association, 1969, p.187.
4. Supreme Court of NSW; NRS 13660: Probate packets, 1817- , Reginald Schofield Bonney, died 26/09/1950, Series 4, No.372432.